Junkfood Science: More psuedo-advocacy

July 22, 2007

More psuedo-advocacy

Patient advocacy and support groups used to lobby for special interests aren’t just common in the weight loss and bariatric industries. In a nearly identically titled post, Dr. Roy M. Poses, M.D., writes of another nonprofit disease organization funded by special interests. Not only is caution important when we hear information and advice from biased sources, but their lobbying is often effective, which means we pay the price:

Advocacy in Whose Interest?

Just in time for another lazy summer weekend comes this article from the Wall Street Journal about another instance of cozy ties between the pharmaceutical industry and a disease-specific not-for-profit organization. (We posted about another such instance here.) The article's focus is how the Epilepsy Foundation has been campaigning against generic anti-epileptic drugs on a state level, while accepting significant funding from and leadership by pharmaceutical companies that make name brand anti-epileptics…

[T]here is ample evidence that conflicts may affect how people think and what they do. Try a thought experiment. If you knew that your organization were getting a large amount of money from donor x, would you be more likely to take a position that directly goes against the interests of donor x, or the opposite?

In any case, this case appears to be yet another example of stealth health policy advocacy or stealth lobbying, and one that may succeed in keeping the costs of drugs rising ever higher.

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