Whoops! STATnews Forced to Retract Op-Ed Ghostwritten by Industry-Funded Alliance for Patient Access | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In an era of widespread calls for action to tame skyrocketing prescription drug costs, one organization consistently opposes measures to rein them in: the Alliance for Patient Access (AfPA).


The AfPA claims it’s trying to ensure patients have access to FDA-approved therapies. However, its track record shows it pushes platforms that help drug companies’ bottom lines. HealthNewsReview.org frequently writes about how patient advocacy groups are co-opted by drug industry funding, but the AfPA is something different, observers say: a front group established solely to do the bidding of industry.


To advance its agenda, the AfPA often uses politicians and the news media, and rarely are its deep pharmaceutical connections called out.


Recently, for example, STAT ran a ghostwritten op-ed piece from an AfPA board member that extolled a $24,000-a-year drug to treat psychosis related to Parkinson’s disease. The op-ed was retracted after HealthNewsReview.org discovered and reported that it was ghostwritten.


Asked about STAT’s participation with the AfPA and other industry partnerships, Executive Editor Rick Berke told HealthNewsReview.org Managing Editor Kevin Lomangino: “Every partnership we enter into, we think about the optics and appearances. We’re comfortable with the decisions we’ve made. They may not be up to your standards but they’re up to our standards.”