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Press Release

ICYMI: The Intercept - “Big Pharma Paid LGBT Groups and Others That Opposed California Drug-Price Ballot Measure (Prop. 61)”

Yes on Prop 61
Posted on: 29 Oct 16

Today, The Intercept published an article by investigative reporter Lee Fang titled “Big Pharma Paid LGBT Groups and Others That Opposed California Drug-Price Ballot Measure,” also know as Proposition 61, the California Drug Price Relief Act.

In the article, Fang notes that two competing San Francisco-based LGBT Democratic groups – “the leftist Harvey Milk Democratic Club and the centrist Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club,” both “announced in September that they would be opposing Proposition 61, the high-profile initiative to lower drug prices.” “Unknown to many activists in the city,” Fang wrote, “this act of political camaraderie appears to have been rewarded by the pharmaceutical industry, which cut each club a $5,000 check from a fund set up to defeat the drug price initiative. Neither LGBT group, both of which have sent voter guides to city residents, revealed the donation on their website.”

Fang added, “The money was disclosed in filingsmade on Thursday that showed 19 different civic organizations, from the Foreign Legion to a bilingual voter guide organization, taking drug industry funds and endorsing No on Prop 61.” “Over half a million dollars flowed to groups sending out a variety of voter guides urging a vote against Prop 61,” Fang revealed. “The practice of selling voter guide endorsements, though shunned by many consultants, is a common trick for interest groups seeking to buy the appearance of widespread support.”

The Intercept also notes that “Three of the veterans groups that endorsed No on Prop 61 and appeared in a television advertisement against the measure — the American Legion of California, Veterans of Foreign Wars of California and the Vietnam Veterans of America CA State Council — all received direct payments from the PhRMA fund, the filings reveal. Other veterans groups that have campaigned against the initiative, including the American GI Forum, also received drug industry money.”

Read the article in its entirety here:

“We’ve been highlighting the bought-and-paid-for opponents of 61 for months,” said Garry South, lead strategist for Yes on Prop. 61. “Most of the opposition to Prop. 61 comes from Big Pharma itself, who has bankrolled the entire effort to save their drug profits, or from groups that have serious financial ties to the drug lobby. Californians aren’t fooled. They can’t be bought and paid for like so many of these so-called advocacy groups that are acting as shills for Pharma.”

For more details on the financial links to the drug industry of those opposed to Proposition 61, visit

Prop. 61 is the only vehicle available in this election year for Californians to address the high cost of life-saving drugs. Proposition 61 would require the state of California to negotiate with drug companies for drug prices that are no more than is paid for the same drugs by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Unlike Medicare, the DVA negotiates for drug prices on behalf of the millions of veterans it serves, and pays on average 20-24 percent less for medications than other government agencies, and up to 40 percent less than Medicare Part D. Prop. 61 empowers the state, as the healthcare buyer for millions of Californians, to negotiate the same or an even better deal for taxpayers, saving the state billions.
Paid for by Yes on Prop. 61, Californians for Lower Drug Prices, With Major Funding by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and California Nurses Association PAC. FPPC ID#1376791

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Business Wire

Last updated on: 29/10/2016

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