Big Pharma Silent on Dark Money Lies | 340B Matters
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29 May Big Pharma Silent on Dark Money Lies

A new and insidious lie is making the rounds linking the 340B Drug Discount Program to illegal immigration and free healthcare for illegal immigrants. It’s pure disinformation bankrolled by dark money but the drug industry has thus far conveniently failed to denounce it.

A mysteriously funded group called Build America’s Future is generating this effluent. The nonprofit, started in 2008 and based in Arlington, VA is in a non-descript, garden apartment. Why a group putatively dedicated to American infrastructure improvement would care about a hospital program like 340B is the biggest red flag of all. Obviously, it’s a shady conduit to arouse emotions by spewing blatant falsehoods. The goal? To frighten state legislatures considering 340B measures to protect contract pharmacies from price discrimination by drug manufacturers.

The pharmaceutical industry has experienced an unexpected series of losses at the state level as governors – both Republican and Democratic – sign laws to defend the 340B program that provides crucial economic support to safety-net hospitals and clinics. And suddenly Build America’s Future starts running scare ads. Awfully convenient, don’t you think?

The campaign is meant to spook Republican governors and state lawmakers by waving the anti-immigration flag. We trust they won’t fall prey to this flimsy deceit.  Here’s the truth: Under the federal 340B law, drug companies are required to provide discounted medications to safety-net hospitals and clinics that treat high numbers of underserved patients. The hospitals use the savings to help pay for the delivery of care to all patients, regardless of ability to pay. The program has nothing to do with immigration, and is NOT funded by taxpayers.

Under the current law, the US drug industry forgoes a tiny share of its monster profits to underwrite the program. In fact, if Big Pharma is successful in its efforts to kill 340B, it’s more than likely that local taxpayers would have to step up and cover the shortfall.

We’ll likely never know who funded the campaign – but we do demand that Big Pharma publicly condemn it, as have other stakeholders in the 340B program. By letting the lie stand unchallenged, the drug industry is losing all credibility.

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