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SAN FRANCISCO — The pharmaceutical industry’s most powerful lobbying group is opening its war chest to try to sway a policy fight with no clear connection to medicine or health care, spending a half-million dollars here to oppose a California ballot measure that would expand rent control protections across the state.

PhRMA’s contribution is unusual not for its size — $500,000 is a relatively small sum for the trade association — but because the group typically only involves itself in policy issues likely to impact its bottom line. In this fight, it is siding with landlords, developers, and real estate investors, mainly in California but with some headquartered in other states; PhRMA is the only large donor opposing the measure without ties to the housing industry.


The group says that it’s getting involved in the ballot measure at stake, called Proposition 10, because it fears passage could make housing harder to find for the nearly 900,000 employees who work in biopharma in the state. Some economists have expressed concern that it could discourage the construction of new housing and make life harder for low-income renters in the long-term.

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  • It is strange to see a Pharma Lobby involve itself in rent control.

    That said, it was even stranger, if possible, to see their foe Michael Weinstein squander AIDS funding on behalf of the 2017 Los Angeles city Measure S “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative”, to shut down essentially all housing development in Los Angeles. (Measure S was defeated 70%-30% by an unusually broad coalition of business supporters, trade unionists, and housing advocates.) Weinstein never was able to offer a coherent explanation why AIDS patients would benefit from housing shortages and soaring rents.

  • Who knew that unlimited money,and a corrupt political and medical system would lead to these unlikely partnerships. PHrMA, has it’s tendrils everywhere, manipulating the political process to settle scores or benefit their industry. One of the most heinous of all PHrMA activities it their wining and dining “education” of journalists, which is never disclosed. They infiltrate patient groups also under the guise of advocacy or spreading awareness. In Post Fact America, this deceptive, unscrupulous behavior, should really be illegal, but we are much too corrupt to even document or expose this corporate behavior. It is no wonder they can’t bring down pharmaceutical prices or even ask for scientific accuracy in the clinical trials. With our criminal administration, giving groups like PhrMA even more power to corrupt our political process, mislead consumers and plant misleading advertorials, and block any attempt to shed daylight on any of this, we are continuously being Gas Lighted.

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