Looking to bolster transparency involving drug makers, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduced a bill that would require drug makers to report payments that are made to patient advocacy groups and professional societies.

The legislation is designed to toughen the Sunshine Act, which was created in response to concerns that industry payments were unduly influencing medical research and practice. The law was subsequently folded into the Affordable Care Act and a federal database was launched in 2014 to which drug and device makers must report payments to physicians.

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  • This Bill needs to go even further, these Patient Advocacy Groups were mined for information by the Industries seeking profits, and are still being used to spread misinformation. Facebook marketed access to these groups, not to benefit patients, but to sell products and change the conversation to avoid accountability. These companies get what they pay for, and it is a lot more profitable to mislead desperate people, and undermine their initial intent in setting up these groups.
    Nowhere is the pervasive and usually misleading advertising, by Pharma, Medical Practices, or Hospitals discussed in any of these Bills. The use of Content Marketing, Advertorials, and other deceptive marketing disguised as general heath information discussed. We never see any discussion of the “Cures” presented both online and in various publications. Headline grabbing health misinformation, is constantly foisted on people, from the National Enquirer, local newspapers, and Social Media. The relatively thin fact based ‘Health News” is supplemented with well crafted advertising that is printed in the “News” format.
    The Internet was supposed to improve things, bridge communication gaps, and expose fallacies, and further science, instead it became a weaponized marketing and misinformation platform. All of these contributions need to be scrutinized, and the motives exposed.

    • Fair is fair,,,if they go after our pain groups,,then I want all the addiction groups also forced exposure of where they get their monies from,,mary

  • First, I’m all for transparency despite the fact that statistics are easily manipulated into deceptive cudgels to drive agendas.
    Now let’s do some math and put these “shocking” contributions to patient advocacy groups into context.
    “The report found five drug makers funneled nearly $9 million to 14 advocacy groups working on chronic pain and issues related to opioid use between 2012 and 2017.”
    $9mm to 14 groups = $645,000 each (rounded up)
    $645K ÷ 5 companies = $129,000
    2012-2017 = 6 years
    $129K ÷ 6 years = $21.5K per year per group per company
    This is not a lot of money. It likely wouldn’t pay the rent for a one-room office, let alone one person’s salary. This is not buying a lot of influence, and the advocacy group knows it, the company knows it, and so does anyone who does the math.
    2012-2017 = 6 years

  • pssss furthermore politician lady,,,i want all addiction owners list of contributors!!!!1st,,fair is fair right,,,i want a list of all addiction warehouse owners who have received monies from any politician,and pharma,,any rich sob who has put there adult kid in one of their addiction warehouse,,,talk about bias,prejudicial bigots,,,let just go after the folks who help the medically ill in physical pain,ie,pain groups,,,,but do not go after the addiction groups who get financial support?!!!!thats called BEING PREJUDICE SENATORE!!!mary

    • Of course fair Is Fair! The Addiction Industry groups should be investigated too. Especially since their Industry insiders are sitting at on Government Agencies, and deceptively marketing their Agenda. Many of the patient Advocacy Groups for every single condition have been lied to and manipulated by corporate industry money.
      Facebook graciously allowed state health groups, to use their platform to discuss Opiate Addiction, because they could market their information. Sick and desperate people are good targets. After all even the “Opiate Epidemic” was profitable, an so is the remedy. Every new age huckster and “Treatment industry” representative has used fear, deception and misinformation to increase their profitability.
      They removed Chronic Pain and pain in general from the discussion, instead stigmatizing people with pain, and selling “Alternatives” that do not work. It is a lot more profitable, and helpful to the industries to mislead the public rather than provide Facts, Data, and Statistics. They are still going after prescription drugs, since it is easier than addressing the real problem, and Pharma can profit from the alternatives. The “Opiate Epidemic” was good cover for the Surgical Mistakes, uninsured who die in agony, and blue collar workers who are all worked out. They had to come up with a counter narrative in order to turn people against the people with legitimate chronic pain.
      Note: We won’t see many Physicians challenging the nonsense either. They have been in an avalanche of misreporting facts, in order to further the agenda of the Insurers, Hospital industry, and Pharma. They cleverly leave the original purpose of these drugs out of the equation. The mass media only promotes what is profitable, so the number of dead due to the failure of the treatment industry, or the number of dead, due to the failure of drug policy are all added to the over all death toll.
      It was a lot easier to mislead the public, and monitor patient groups and get their moderators to peddle nonsense or industry friendly legislation that it was to fix our broken healthcare system.
      Approximately 50% of the deaths attributed to Opiod Abuse, were people who are older and sick. Many of the articles that give a number conflate all deaths due to “Overdose” (25% are due to Polypharamacy) with Opiate Addiction. The big number is scarier, and avoids mentioning the other Pharmaceuticals, that could cut into profits. People in my community died from Fentanyl, as the “News” was still over-representing prescription drugs. Even after draconian policies were put in place, and prescription drug monitoring was operating, and the addicted found that street drugs were easier to obtain and cheaper, they are still tormenting people with chronic pain. The just re-framed pain, and allowed Psychologists to be on a par with Medical Professionals, with advanced degrees.
      People with surgical complications faulty implants and recalled Devices could be re-categorized as having Opiate Use Disorder, they no longer had Intractable Chronic Pain.
      They need to investigate all of these Industry groups, many appear to be benign, but they have sidetracked the discussions, to industry friendly topics. The Opiates are the Tip of the Iceberg!

  • How about we get a list of all politicians who have contributed to the ACLU AND have stock in any pharma 1st!!!!!Come on,,,,we are adults,,it was called supply and demand,,,,,As adults its called ,”informed consent,” at anytime as an adult,,,u can say NO Doc,,,,do not need that medicine any longer,,,maryw

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