Non-profit Fronts for Drug Industry_Boston Globe

These paid lobbying efforts on behalf of industry are carried out under the pretext of advocacy in the public interest.

The Boston Globe reports that “little attention has been paid to smaller nonprofits, especially patient groups that are largely funded by the drug industry.”  Much as doctors are on the take, a lot of so-called patient “advocacy” groups are pimping for the drug and medical device industry.

The Globe describes one such industry front group, the Breast Cancer Resource Committee, founded by Elzora K. Brown, a former staff assistant to former US House Majority Leader Jim Wright. Brown regularly testifies at public FDA advisory hearings, “packing an emotional punch as advisers vote on controversial drug and device approvals.” 

The Globe reports: From 1996 to 2004 , the years for which Internal Revenue Service records are available, the Breast Cancer Resource Committee raised about $3.4 million from mostly corporate donors, including hundreds of thousands of dollars from such drug firms as Amgen Inc. Pharmaceuticals LP , GlaxoSmithKline  PLC, and Pfizer Inc.

“As her nonprofit’s coffers swelled, Brown’s salary jumped from $40,100 to $162,500 –roughly one-third of every dollar raised. During that time, the group paid up to $2,600 a month for a four-story Washington, D.C., townhouse, assessed at $788,510 , where Brown lived and worked.” Read More….

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