USA Today recently published a misleading characterization of a nonprofit group. As a nonprofit watchdog, Capital Research Center was poised to correct the record. CRC President Scott Walter sent a letter to the editor, but USA Today declined to publish the letter or correct the mischaracterization in the article. We have reproduced the letter below.
To the editor:
Re: “Critics target institute that evaluates price, value of drugs,” July 28, 2016
Your feature story on the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review called the group an “academic institute,” implying ICER objectively pursues truth, free from political taint.
In fact, ICER is in the camp with groups like AARP that endanger drug innovation by encouraging government to impose price controls on American drug companies.
ICER is a blunt instrument that insurance companies wield against other health care industry players to fatten their own profits.
ICER admits it gets 70 percent of its funding from “foundations,” as the article puts it. But foundations have political agendas and shouldn’t be exempt from scrutiny. Many of ICER’s funders are foundations like Blue Shield of California Foundation, created by big insurance companies that have a vested interest in paying below-market drug prices and rationing patient care.
Your readers have a right to know that ICER’s green eyeshade-wearing Scrooges make a living pooh-poohing breakthrough medications that extend and improve people’s lives.
Earlier this year CRC published a research study on the problems with ICER; that study also criticized drug companies’ past support for the Affordable Care Act. See https://capitalresearch.org/2016/01/insuring-crony-capitalism/.