Labor Union Calls Out AHA for Links to #Pharma | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

A UNITE HERE report [available here:] has uncovered that the American Heart Association (AHA), its leadership, and authors of its guidelines accept large contributions from the pharmaceutical industry. As volunteers for the organization raise money in Heart Walks across the country, the labor union is calling on the AHA to take concrete steps to minimize the industry’s influence.

Dr. Robert Eckel, former AHA president and co-author of certain cholesterol-related AHA guidelines, received nearly $33K in industry payments in 2014. Over $14K came from drug maker Sanofi Aventis.. Express Scripts’ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steve Miller wrote in July 2015 that the company’s new cholesterol-lowering drug, Praluent, and other “PCSK9-inhibitors” like it, could cost U.S. payers and patients more than $100 billion per year if not managed properly.

The AHA received over $15 million from pharmaceutical, medical device, and health-insurance companies in the 2013-14 fiscal year, including nearly $3.3 million from Pfizer.

Among other recommendations, UNITE HERE calls on the AHA to convene a panel of independent experts who do not receive income from pharmaceutical industries to review the 2013 ACC/AHA cholesterol guidelines and risk calculator.