WASHINGTON — Patrick O’Connor wants to emphasize that he’s not running a shadowy pharma front group.

That’s why he’s attached his name to the group, the Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation, even as most of its donors have remained in the dark. It’s why he keeps repeating that the industry trade group PhRMA is not involved. And it’s why he agreed to sit down with STAT for this story, even though he cast himself as uninteresting.

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  • eat organic fruits and vegetables, white meat, drink water, and exercise. Please do not send me your money for my genius plan to help put big pharma out of business. Get off of your fat lazy asses.

  • Another fake “coalition” can’t hide the facts that Big Pharma spends more on marketing then they spend on research. They have bought politicians in both parties. That much of the basic research for their meds was paid for by the government. And that their profits are obscene compared with every other industry. People are sicker and die because they can’t afford life-saving meds. Polls show 70% of Dems and 52% of Repubs support a single-payer, Medicare-for-All national health program. When we have S-P, drug prices will be negotiated, like in every other wealthy (and capitalist) country, and if still too high, the gov’t will produce them directly. The diaper-changing corporate shill will have to find an honest way to earn a living. Can’t wait.

  • This is mean, Ike Swetlitz. You’re knocking the stuffing out of Mr. O’Conner while pretending to portrait him in a kind and favorable way.

  • kerry king,

    Taxpayer funding is not a “Myth” it is a fact, one that is almost always left out of any discussion of pharma pricing, by industry sycophants, and publications that rely on pharma advertising dollars. Pharma spends more money on advertising, than on research. See taxpayers, really the American people fund the NIH, DARPA and public universities. Clever Pharma people, “buy” the publicly funded research and develop it for the market, jacking up the prices exponentially.

    We would not be here, if industry publications, mass media, and PhARMA, “Educated” journalists did not leave out essential facts any time this topic comes up. Publications that rely on Pharma advertising dollars. leave out the over arching fact, that taxpayers pay for this. The Industry Trolls glom on and repeat the absence of facts, as proof. Facts are left out by design, part of the pharma misinformation campaign, they are waging against the American people.

    One of these links contains a pie chart, which should be displayed any time the topic of pharmaceutical prices come up.

    https://abcnews.go.com/WNT/YourMoney/story?id=129651

    https://www.webmd.com/drug-medication/news/20180215/your-tax-dollars-fund-research-on-hundreds-of-new-meds

    https://other98.com/taxpayers-fund-pharma-research-development/

    https://www.healthline.com/health-news/taxpayers-fund-research-for-drugs
    https://other98.com/taxpayers-fund-pharma-research-development/

  • US healthcare is an extortion racket, and O’Connor’s role it to distract the public’s appreciation of “Pay me or die.”

    I could not help superimposing one of those horror movie clown faces on O’Connor’s new smiley face for Big Pharma. We tax-payers fund the research that they then turn into a product and charge us as much as they can extort from our insurance company – then us. How do you put a smiley face on that?

  • The more I read, the more angry I became. Nowhere did the author show any fragment of compassion towards people struggling to buy lifesaving, overpriced medicaions, such as epinephrine or insulin. The outrageous increased prices of old drugs is indefensible and he flipped the target onto an organization formed to fight the greed.
    The attempt to humanize himself by mentioning changing a diaper, is laughable.
    I came away astonished about how badly this guy failed to protect the reputation of the corruption in the pharmaceutical industry.
    I guess, because it is indefensible.

  • A journalist saw profit, in peddling propaganda for pharmaceutical interests, and they wrote this up as if it is a new idea. This would be why we don’t have any policy based on Facts. The Industry already paid off politicians and put industry insiders on regulatory boards, and we can see how badly that has worked. Most of the news coverage of this topic is deceptive, a person that would defend an industry that is fleecing the American public, and even stifling facts and innovation, does not really need another cheerleader.

    • The more I read, the more angry I became. Nowhere did the author show any fragment of compassion towards people struggling to buy lifesaving, overpriced medicaions, such as epinephrine or insulin. The outrageous increased prices of old drugs is indefensible and he flipped the target onto an organization formed to fight the greed.
      The attempt to humanize himself by mentioning changing a diaper, is laughable.
      I came away astonished about how badly this guy failed to protect the reputation of the corruption in the pharmaceutical industry.
      I guess, because it is indefensible.

  • i agree that many therapeutics are priced excessively.

    however, a wise person once said about pharma: “We could mention the millions of lives that their products save, or the tens or hundreds of millions of lives that their products improve. No? Don’t like that one? How about the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars that pharmaceutical products save in overall healthcare costs each year? (Don’t like drug prices? Try hospital stay prices instead.)

    …when all you do is focus on the negatives, you ignore the hundreds of thousands of people who work in this industry who have never bribed a doctor or promoted a product off-label or pushed an unsafe product for an improper use.”

    • Yes, medications save lives and shorten ir prevent hospitalization, but ONLY if people can afford them. There is no excuse that can justify the increased cost of insulin or epinephrine for example. None. Not while CEOs are making millions.

    • @christine, i agree there’s no justification for price gouging in the case of insulin or epinephrine.

      drug pricing is obviously a complex issue. without the profit motive, it’s likely we wouldn’t have innovative breakthroughs such as car-t therapy or sofosbuvir. as you point out however, patients must be able to afford these therapies.

      regarding CEO pay, this comment baffles me. why is it ok for CEOs in other industries to make millions, but not in healthcare?

  • I also think drug prices are to high. However I believe drug co’s spend a lot of money to research and develop products that are protected for only 20 yrs. At the same time a person can smoke a joint while sitting in bathroom and right a song that that they will get royalties for the rest of there life, PLUS 70 years does not seem fair. Perhaps if there patent lasted 40 or 50 years they may sell for a lot less.

    • @kerry king.
      @Gerry Ordway

      I never singled out CEOs in the pharmaceutical industry. CEOs in general are greatly overpaid, but this article was justifying this industry’s drug pricing…so I stayed on topic. Writing songs has nothing to do with tjis industry.

      I did omit and will now include the fact of spending hundreds of millions in drug advertising and provider ‘perks’, while those monies could instead go towards reducing the cost of drugs to patients.

      As far as their patents expiring and the claim that they risk recouping the cost of drug development hampering reinvestment, lets not forget that the taxpayers fund (via NIH and universities) much of the work of drug development. All drugs are not developed purely by pharmaceutical companies. They refine and market them in many cases.

      And again, no where did this guy attempt to explain or justify the outrageous costs of drugs long off patent, (as I clearly mentioned previously), such as insulin and epinephrine. Wasn’t that his mission?

      This industry cannot use the defense that ‘other industries overcharge’. Medications aren’t a choice, as a new phone or car may be. They are necessary. The cost frequently throws people into bankruptcy or they die.

      This guy was hired to put lipstick on a pig. He failed. And even if he succeeded…it’s still a pig.

    • @christine, thanks for your comments and i largely agree with you.

      should the CEO of a company that manufactures off-patent therapies such as insulin or epinephrine make millions? of course not.

      however, the idea that “taxpayers fund (via NIH and universities) much of the work of drug development” is a myth. think about it this way…if that were true and it was so easy to develop new drugs and bring to market, wouldn’t everyone do it?

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