US patient advocacy groups are seen as unbiased and independent authorities championing the public interest with regard to drug and medical issues before the FDA. However, a new study has shown that almost all are funded and led by the drug industry.
It turns out that at least 39 of 42 patient advocacy groups – or 93 percent – received funds from pharmaceutical companies, while at least 15 have drug company reps on their governing boards, according to research by David Hilzenrath at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).
Patient advocacy groups add a lot to drug-related legislation in the Congress. A study from 2014 showed that 43 percent of public comments on the House version of a bill came from patient advocacy groups. However, as the latest report by POGO suggests, their comments are far from being independent….