A Big Pharma-Funded Charity Sues the Government
A charity that helps patients pay for expensive prescription drugs is suing the federal government over what it alleges are unlawful federal restrictions that put a “stranglehold” on its ability to communicate with donors—which happen to be pharmaceutical companies that sell expensive drugs.
Patient-assistance charities have become a mainstay of drug companies’ efforts to ensure patients can afford their products. It’s a circular kind of philanthropy: Drug companies give hundreds of millions of dollars a year to independent nonprofits, which in turn provide financial assistance for patients’ drug co-pays or other medical expenses.
Due to the potentially fraught nature of the relationship, the charities are regulated by the government to ensure that they operate independently and don’t fall afoul of a federal anti-kickback law.