We launched the Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation yesterday, and the reaction was just what we expected – activists and journalists both piled on with the same predictable laments about “another D.C.-based, pro-pharma, dark money group.”
Most of those activists and media outlets assumed we were just a front group for PhRMA. Sadly, this is exactly why we launched the Alliance. The debate over drug costs has become so corrosive and one-sided that we wanted to introduce a new voice that could point out some basic facts about the groundbreaking medicines developed by biopharmaceutical companies. We look forward to discussing the costs involved in developing these treatments and the basic fact that pharmaceutical costs are growing far slower than other health-care services.
We also think it is important for patients and policymakers to understand who is funding the other side and how, in many cases, their policy objectives would either fail to address the issues at the center of this debate or, worse, choke off the existing pipeline for new medicine. The industry’s critics are more coordinated than most people appreciate, and when we see stories about research funded by the Arnold Foundation turn up in publications funded, in part, by the Arnolds, we get a little suspicious.
Now, the “dark money” complaints and questions about our funders are fair, to a point. Our group is new, and we don’t actually have a lot of funders to reveal. We have been given some seed money from people inside the industry, but our aim is to add as many people, from as many walks of life, as possible. And when we do, we will start disclosing those names. But for now, we’re a small organization, with a modest aim – to bring a little bit more balance to this debate.
That said, we can tell you one group that has not given us a dime (or been involved in our creation): PhRMA.
Till next time…