Drug pricing advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) have rolled out a new TV and radio ad campaign in the San Diego market blasting Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA 52nd District) for sponsoring a bill that would severely curtail nonprofit hospitals’ participation in the 340B program, a federally-administered drug discount pricing program created to extend the lifeline of care and services that safety net hospitals and providers are able to deliver. Peters, a San Diego Democrat, co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN).
Days before the December Congressional Recess and with little to no public input or scrutiny, he and Bucshon introduced H.R. 4710, a misguided bill pushed by pharmaceutical industry lobbyists that will gut the federally-administered drug discount program—a program that costs the government and taxpayers nothing. Advocates assert the bill, should it pass into law, will significantly reduce healthcare access for people—including many of those in Peters’ own San Diego district.
The radio and cable television campaign in San Diego includes 264 radio spots running on KXSN (98.1 FM), KYXY (96.5 FM) and KMYI (Star 94.1 FM) as well as a ‘Let340B!’ television ad running on San Diego area Cox Cable channels. The TV ad urges Peters’ constituents to contact him to demand that he not harm the drug pricing program by continuing to back this bill. The TV ad will run for a two-week flight (Jan 15-28) and will run as more than 700 spots across different Cox channels in the San Diego market.
“H.R. 4710 is really a brazen attack on the poor being falsely characterized as ‘reform.’ It is a full-on assault being led by the pharmaceutical industry and their lobbyists and friends in Congress, like Congressman Peters,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “In reality, this is a very worthwhile and lifesaving drug pricing program that costs the government and taxpayers nothing. 340B is continually in the crosshairs of Big Pharma and their legislative friends. However, we’ve seen that the public is wise enough to know that if pharma is involved in any drug pricing issue, they—the public or the patient—is on the losing side. We will continue to fight back against attacks on 340B and urge Congressman Peters to reconsider his sponsorship of this dangerous bill.”
Peters, who has served in Congress since 2013 and is the sixth wealthiest member of Congress, has taken in more that $100,000 in contributions from the drug and biotech industries while in Congress.