Showing posts with label Drugs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drugs. Show all posts

September 7, 2016

Duterte Cursing DPL’s Without Penalty, Until Obama!/Drugs?Contract Out on U:’Duterte’

 Duterte foul mouth Gets Him to pay a price this time with US President Obama

 US President Barack Obama has cancelled a meeting with controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who had earlier called him a "son of a whore".
Mr Duterte was responding to the US president's promise to raise the issue of drug-related extra-judicial killings in the Philippines at their meeting.
The Philippine leader, known for his colorful language, has insulted prominent figures before, but has never said sorry or expressed regrets but this time it has had diplomatic consequences.
He has now said he regrets the remark.
"While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret that it came across as a personal attack on the US president," a statement by his office said. 
 In the past, President Duterte has called Pope Francis the "son of a whore", US Secretary of State John Kerry "crazy" and recently referred to the US ambassador to the Philippines a "gay son of a whore".
Both he and President Obama are in Laos for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit.

Duterte's apology: Analysis by Karishma Vaswani in Laos

Mr Duterte has been forced to apologise for offensive comments before, but this is the first time he has had to confront the reality of his outlandish behaviour on the international stage
It is the president's first overseas trip - an opportunity that many leaders would have used to cement ties with neighbouring countries and superpowers like China and the US. 
Instead Mr Duterte has spent the morning dampening down the controversy he created. 
At the heart of this is the fact that Mr Duterte isn't used to being told what to do; and that he likes to display machismo and bravado, which plays well to his domestic audience. 
But when he sits down for serious discussions with his Asean counterparts over the next couple of days, they'll be looking for Asian discretion and subtlety, not diplomacy Duterte-style. 

How the row escalated

Mr Obama, who flew to Laos after attending the G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China, had been set to raise concerns about human rights abuses in the Philippines. 
But speaking in Manila on Monday before he left for Laos, Mr Duterte bristled at the suggestion, saying the Philippines "has long ceased to be a colony".
"Putang ina, I will swear at you in that forum," he then said, using a Tagalog phrase for "son of a whore" or "son of a bitch".

US President Obama arrives in Vientiane, Laos, on 6 September 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionBarack Obama is the first sitting US president to visit Laos
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives for the Asean summit in Laos on 6 September 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionThis is Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's first overseas trip - and already controversial

Mr Obama initially appeared to play down the insult, calling his Philippine counterpart a "colourful character" and saying he had asked his aides to work out if this is "a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations".
His aides later cancelled the talks. 
Mr Obama's last scheduled trip to Asia as president has not been without incident: he was also caught up in a protocol row with hosts China over his arrival in Hangzhou.

Philippine police in a raid on suspected drug smugglers in Manila on 5 September 2016Image copyrightAFP
Image captionRodrigo Duterte's tough talk on crime helped him to a landslide victory in May's elections

In his comments on Monday, President Duterte pledged to continue with his anti-drugs campaign that has led to the killing of 2,400 suspected drug dealers and users in the Philippines since he took office in June.
"Many will die, plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets... until the [last] drug manufacturer is killed we will continue," he said.
  • Duterte accuses judges of drugs, He put out links
  • The woman who kills drug dealers for a living:
The UN has repeatedly condemned Mr Duterte's policies as a violation of human rights. In August, two UN human rights experts said Mr Duterte's directive for police and the public to kill suspected drug traffickers amounted to "incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law".
This round of Asean talks comes against the backdrop of tensions over China's territorial ambitions in the South China Sea - the Philippines and the US are key players in that debate.

The Philippines is in the midst of a brutal war on drugs sanctioned by the controversial President Rodrigo Duterte, which has seen almost 2,000 killings in a matter of weeks. The BBC’s Jonathan Head explores the country’s dark underbelly of dealers and assassins through the story of one woman trapped in a chilling predicament.

When you meet an assassin who has killed six people, you don't expect to encounter a diminutive, nervous young woman carrying a baby. "My first job was two years ago in this province nearby. I felt really scared and nervous because it was my first time.

  • Often called "ice" or "crystal meth" in the West, Shabu is the term used for a pure and potent form of amphetamine in the Philippines and other parts of Asia.
  • Shabu costs about 1,000 Philippines peso per gram ($22; £16)
  • It can be smoked, injected, snorted or dissolved in water
  • The Philippines is home to industrial-scale labs producing tones of the drug - which is then distributed throughout Asia. 
  • Mr Duterte describes it as a pandemic, afflicting millions of his fellow citizens. It is also very profitable. He has listed 150 senior officials, officers and judges linked to the trade. Five police generals, he says, are kingpins of the business. But it is those at the lowest levels of the trade who are targeted by the death squads.
According to the police more than 1,900 people have been killed in drug-related incidents since he took office on 30 June. Of those, they say, 756 were killed by the police, all, they say, while resisting arrest. The remaining deaths are, officially, under investigation. 
In practice most will remain unexplained. Nearly all those whose bloodied bodies are discovered every night in the slums of Manila and other cities are the poor - pedicab drivers, casual labourers, the unemployed. Often, found next to them are cardboard signs warning others not to get involved in drugs. This is a war being fought almost exclusively in the poorest parts of the country. People like Maria are used as its agents. 

Duterte's war on drugs 

Since 1 July 

drug deaths
  • 10,153 drug dealers arrested 
  • 1,160 deaths still being investigated 
  • 756 suspects killed by police 
  • 300 officers suspected of involvement 
But it is a popular war. In Tondo, the shantytown area next to Manila port, most of the residents applaud the president's tough campaign. They blamed the "shabu" scourge for rising crime, and for destroying lives, although some worried that the campaign was getting out of hand, and that innocent victims were being caught up in it. 
One of those being hunted by the death squads is Roger - again not his real name.
He became addicted to shabu as a young man, he says, while working as a casual labourer. Like many addicts he began dealing to support his habit, as it was a more comfortable job than labouring. He worked a lot with corrupt police officers, sometimes taking portions of the drug hauls they confiscated in raids to sell.

Roger, not his real name, is a drug dealer and an addict.Image copyrightJONATHAN HEAD

Now he is on the run, moving from place to place every few days to avoid being tracked down and killed.
"Every day, every hour, I cannot get the fear out of my chest. It's really tiring and scary to hide all the time. You don't know if the person right in front of you will inform on you, or if the one facing you might be a killer. It's hard to sleep at night. One small noise, I wake up. And the hardest part of all is I don't know who to trust, I don't know which direction to go every day, looking for a place to hide."

A woman sweeping the front of her house in Happyland a dump site in Tondo, ManilaImage copyrightCARLO GABUCO

He does feel guilt about his role in the trade of this destructive drug.
"I do truly believe that I have committed sins. Big time. I have done many awful things. I've wronged a lot people because they've become addicted, because I'm one of the many who sells them drugs. But what I can say is that not everyone who uses drugs is capable of committing those crimes, of stealing, and eventually killing. I'm also an addict but I don't kill. I'm an addict but I don't steal."
He has sent his children to live with his wife's family in the countryside, to try to stop them being exposed to the drug epidemic. He estimates that between 30% and 35% of people in his neighbourhood are addicts.

A girl sleeping on the side of the street in Parola Tondo Area, Manila CityImage copyrightCARLO GABUCO

So when President Duterte stated several times during his presidential campaign that he would kill drug dealers, throw their bodies into Manila Bay, did Roger not take that threat seriously?
"Yes, but I thought he would go after the big syndicates who manufacture the drugs, not the small time dealers like me. I wish I could turn the clock back. But it is too late for me. I cannot surrender, because if I do the police will probably kill me."

Many families living inside a warehouse beside a dumpsite in Happyland Tondo, Manila.
Maria, not her real name, now carries out contract killings as part of the government-sanctioned war on drugs.

She is part of a hit team that includes three women, who are valued because they can get close to their victims without arousing the same suspicion a man would.

Since President Duterte was elected, and urged citizens and police to kill drug dealers who resisted arrest, Maria has killed five more people, shooting them 
all in the head. 

Maria, not her real name, is an assassin for hire.
She is part of a hit team that includes three women, who are valued because they can get close to their victims without arousing the same suspicion a man would
Maria also regrets the choice she has made. 
"I feel guilty and it is hard on my nerves. I don't want the families of those I have killed to come after me."
She worries about what her children will think. "I do not want them to come back at us and say that they got to live because we killed for money." Already her older boy asks questions about how she and her husband earn so much. 
She has one more hit, one more contract to fulfill, and would like that to be her last. But her boss has threatened to kill anyone who leaves the team. She feels trapped. She asks her priest for forgiveness at confession in church, but does not dare to tell him what she does. 

Homes in Tondo, ManilaImage copyrightCARLO GABUCO

Does she feel any justification carrying out President Duterte's campaign to terrorise the drug trade into submission?
"We only talk about the mission, how to carry it out," she says. "When it is finished we never talk about it again."

But she wrings her hands as she speaks and keeps her eyes shut tight, pursued by thoughts she does not want to share
Maria and her husband come from an impoverished neighbourhood of Manila and had no regular income before agreeing to become contract killers. They earn up to 20,000 Philippines pesos ($430; £327) per hit, which is shared between three or four of them. That is a fortune for low-income Filipinos, but now it looks as if Maria has no way out.

President Duterte came to power promising to crack down on crime and drugs

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends the 115th Police Service Anniversary at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Manila on August 17, 2016.

 Contract killing is nothing new in the Philippines. But the hit squads have never been as busy as they are now. President Duterte has sent out an unambiguous message.
Ahead of his election, he promised to kill 100,000 criminals in his first six months in office.
And he has warned drug dealers in particular: "Do not destroy my country, because I will kill you." 
Last weekend he reiterated that blunt view, as he defended the extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals.
"Do the lives of 10 of these criminals really matter? If I am the one facing all this grief, would 100 lives of these idiots mean anything to me?”   

Originally posted on Edited for and by adamfoxie*blog

May 16, 2016

Famous Barrister Gets Swift Sentence(140hrs) for Supplying Drugs Killed Partner

Miguel Jimenez and Henry Hendron.
Miguel Jimenez and Henry Hendron.
This story is a follow up of a very well known ‘barrister to the stars’ young gay London lawyer. He supplied the drug that killed his lover in their bed. For all the drugs that were found in his flat or apartment plus a dead body, this rich lawyer got swift…well fast justice.
He was sentenced to community work. Just like in the US just in a lesser stand there are convicts serving in theirs and ours justice and penal system doing so much more for so much less. Still there are people upset that that CNN last week wrote the below story on this tragedy and it talks about the lover that died as not being the victim but the smart young, good looking barrister who lost his career. 
I wont write about that just to include the piece by CNN and the original story we posted here at adamfoxie*.   Original story (Barrister 35 kills)-click here
It could be the plot from a Bret Easton Ellis novel featuring drugs, sex, death, and an almighty fall from grace. But this is no fictional setting. As lovers do, Henry Hendron was sitting up in bed with his boyfriend one night, speaking of the depths of his infatuation. 
“I said to him: 'Miguel, I don't know what I'd do without you,'" said 35-year-old Hendron, a successful lawyer from London. "And he said: 'Oh come on Henners -- which is what he called me -- what if I fell under a bus?'"
A few hours later Miguel Jimenez, an 18-year-old waiter from Colombia, was dead.
"I woke up and turned him over," remembers Hendron of that winter's morning in January last year. "Mouth frozen, blood there, clearly dead."
In desperation, he performed CPR on his boyfriend until the ambulance arrived -- "It must have been four or five minutes I was doing it, it felt like a lifetime."
"At one point blood starts to trickle out of his mouth, and I'm thinking 'he must be alive.' But he's not. I've broken his ribs or something, and moving that blood around."
When the police arrived, Hendron's nightmare only worsened.
Within minutes of being told his boyfriend was dead, Hendron was arrested, handcuffed, and marched to a waiting police van.
At that moment, "my whole world came crumbling down," he said.
Jimenez had overdosed on a cocktail of drugs -- which Hendron admits he supplied.
Hendron pleaded guilty in March to two counts of possession with intent to supply mephedrone and GBL.
Today he was ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work, at London's Central Criminal Court.
On the night of his death, Jimenez took GHB (commonly known as "G") and mephedrone (also known as "meow-meow"), according to Hendron. 
GHB is particularly easy to overdose on, and potentially lethal when taken with alcohol -- as Jimenez did on the night he died.  In the past, Hendron said the couple who had been dating for one year, would take these drugs together during group sex sessions -- called "chemsex" or "party and play" in the U.S.
The drugs, along with crystal meth, are often associated with chemsex due to their ability to induce heightened arousal, sexual stamina, and reduce inhibition. 
Sex sessions may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and Hendron estimates he was spending "anything up to £1,000 ($1,400) a weekend" on drugs.
However on the night of Jimenez's death, there was no such party.
Instead, Hendron says his teenage boyfriend took the drugs after dinner, with plenty of wine, at the home they shared in Temple -- an area of central London popular with lawyers, and across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice.
A high-profile barrister who has represented MPs, aristocrats and reality TV stars, Hendron was working the next day, and so didn't take any drugs the night Jimenez died.
His partner's death turned the successful lawyer's world upside down -- "it was the other side of the coin," he said.
"I'd gone from a situation of having everything -- professionally, socially, financially -- to losing the love of your life, losing your career, and where there is no future. Or there is no certain future," he told CNN ahead of his sentencing on May 9.
“And it was only because I chose drugs, and I chose that lifestyle." 
Miguel Jimenez died after taking GHB and mephodrone.
Up until the age of 30, Hendron, who came from a conservative Catholic family and was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year with the prestigious Strand Chambers law firm, had never touched drugs in his life.
But after trying them at a private event, he quickly became hooked, engaging in chemsex sessions most weekends.
He said they offered an escape from a high-pressure job with 18-hour work days -- and he wasn't alone.
"In the London gay chemsex scene, a lot of people that do that are actually doctors," he said. "They're professionals, they're lawyers.
"And a lot of them manage to juggle this lifestyle -- weekends of drugs -- and then they go to work perhaps a bit worn on Monday, but they manage."
Indeed Hendron's mother didn't even know he was gay, much less that he took drugs, until she read about it in the Daily Mail.
Jimenez's mother could not be reached for comment, but Hendron says she, along with his twin brother Richard, also a barrister who has been representing him throughout the trial, have been a source of strength.
Growing up in a well-to-do area of west London, Hendron's dentist father died when the twins were babies. Today Hendron speaks with the cut-glass English accent of a privileged upbringing.
When Hendron talks of the heartache of Jimenez's death, and the deeply personal details of his sex life, it is matter-of-factly. In a manner befitting a barrister.  Miguel Jimenez and Henry Hendron.
Hendron says Jimenez's mother, understandably, took a little more time to come round.
"In the beginning she rightly blamed me and couldn't speak to me," he said.
Over time the pair have become close, and Hendron now visits both her, and his former boyfriend's grave, in Colombia once a month.
"We are each other's rock of support for what has been a nightmare over the last 14 months," he said of his relationship with Jimenez's mother. 
At today's sentencing, Judge Richard Marks told Hendron: "I bear in mind the anguish you feel over the death of your partner and the very moving letter from his mother in which far from wanting you to be punished -- she stands by you."
After Jimenez's death, Hendron very nearly died himself, embarking on chemsex binges that at one point saw him overdose on GHB -- and end up in intensive care. 
Today, dressed in a trim navy suit and clutching a folder of papers for his next meeting, Hendron appears to have emerged from his darkest days -- but the weight of them still hang heavy on his thin shoulders.
"I was the older one who should have known better. I was the one that funded those drugs. I should have been the one to say stop," he said.
"And you know, it's me that's taken away my happiness. And he was a core pillar of my happiness. 
"I feel totally responsible."
Hendron says he became addicted to the heightened sexual highs the drugs offered -- and has warned others to carefully consider the risks involved.
"At the time it was quite fun -- you're around other guys, you think this is a good time, you think you're having good sex, and then you become used to it," he said.
"And then that becomes all that you know -- in terms of sex on drugs at the weekend."
The barrister who carved his career in the court room, has now also been judged in the same setting. 
"There isn't much I can do apart from try and move on," he said.
"The pain doesn't become any less. You just become more used to it, more familiar with it."
Do You think justice was done? and Why? Why Not?

April 10, 2016

Cross Roads from Coco to Cocoa


Many cities would welcome government support in a war on drugs. But last year on a visit to Argelia, a town of around 27,000 in southwestern Colombia, Eduardo Díaz, the leader of a presidential initiative to help farmers switch out of illegal crops, felt anything but welcome. The hotels wouldn’t even provide the government officials with rooms, Díaz says. In the end, he and his official entourage ended up sleeping in a local church — the only space, he says, left open to them.
As it turns out, making the switch from farming coca to other crops is a painful process for local farmers, who’ve grown resentful of a government trying to win the region’s drug war. Previously, planes loaded with toxins intended to destroy coca proved to be just as destructive to the farmers as the crops. Meanwhile, consumers and nongovernmental organizations are growing increasingly unwilling to buy products farmed in areas that could be considered environmentally sensitive — which are the same remote areas populated by the relatively poor farmers being encouraged or forced to stop growing coca. The result? Good news for the war on drugs, but it’s left tens of thousands of farmers dangling in the winds of change. Indeed, some are discovering it might just be easier to stick with the illicit stuff.
Now, a newer approach could be much more productive: turning to cocoa beans used to produce chocolate. Back in 2000, Colombia harvested around 163,000 hectares of coca leaves, much of which was turned into cocaine to fund the vast drug business that had been controlled by the narco-terrorist group FARC since at least 1993, when Pablo Escobar was killed. By 2012, less than 48,000 hectares of coca were harvested in the country, a historical low, thanks in part to Plan Colombia, an ambitious push against drugs conceived and jointly enforced by U.S. and Colombian authorities. Much of those coca leaves disappeared thanks to crop substitution, Díaz says. And chocolate — or rather its raw ingredient, cocoa beans — has been at the heart of Colombia’s strategy to swap crops (peppers and bananas, which require similar conditions as coca to grow, are also being substituted). Between 2010 and 2013, Colombia’s cocoa bean production jumped from 37,000 to 48,500 tonnes.
Even if more farmers are forced to give up their coca for cocoa, their long-term success will depend, in part, on whether consumers in the U.S. and Europe will shell out for their chocolate.

March 24, 2016

Top Barrister 35, Kills young boy friend18, who OD

Henry Hendron
Henry Hendron has admitted supplying the drugs that killed his teen lover

A barrister to the stars has admitted supplying the drugs that killed his teenage boyfriend during a gay sex and drugs orgy at the country’s most prestigious legal chambers.

Henry Hendron, 35, bought £1,000 of designer drugs including Mephedrone, or ‘meow meow’, from BBC producer Alexander Parkin, 41, to sell on to revellers for a ‘chemsex’ party at his exclusive London flat.

The drugs killed Hendron’s waiter boyfriend Miguel Jimenez, 18, who was found by the sobbing lawyer after the all night bash.

Police found Methodrone, known as meow meow, and GBL at the flat in the Temple, the collection of chambers where Britain’s top lawyers and judges are based.

Hendron, wearing glasses, a smart blue suit, striped shirt and blue and red patterned tie, appeared in the dock at the Old Bailey .

Central NewsAlexander Parkin at the Old Bailey today, pleaded guilty to supplying drugsAlexander Parkin has pleaded guilty to supplying the drugs
He had previously denied a string of drugs charges, but pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing drugs with intent to supply.

His confession may mark the end of a glittering career for the Tory lawyer once tipped to lead the party.
Hendron’s famous clients include MP Nadine Dorries, the Earl of Cardigan and The Apprentice winner Stella English.

Prosecutor Martyn Bowyer said: "It is accepted this defendant bought in bulk for use in what is known as the gay chemsex scene.

"He would be making them available for friends at cost price."

The batch of designer drugs included meow meow
Mr Bowyer added: "The drugs found at the flat were purchased by him for his own and others’ use, others including his then partner, who tragically died as the result of taking those drugs.

"Text messages taken from his iPhone are consistent with him purchasing those drugs for around £1,000."

Hendron, who charges up to £1,750 per day for his services, could now face jail when he is sentenced on 3 May.

Judge Richard Marks QC told him: ‘You know, I am sure if you fail to attend that in itself would be an offence punishable by imprisonment and in all likelihood the court would sentence you in your absence.

‘The fact I am adjourning this matter for a report is no indication.

‘This is obviously a serious matter and all options remain open to the court.’

Parkin also faces jail after admitting two counts of supplying controlled drugs earlier this month.

PACentral Criminal Court, also referred to as the Old BaileyHendron has been warned he faces jail at the Old Bailey
His barrister, Dominic Bell, said after the pleas: "He is 40-years-old, he’s an executive producer at the BBC, he has one caution for possession of Mephedrone - there’s clearly a background to the abuse of narcotics."

Hendron, who was represented by his brother Richard Hendron, acted for Tory MP Nadine Dorries when she was accused of smearing a rival during the 2015 election campaign.

As a 17-year-old schoolboy Hendron addressed the 1998 Conservative Party conference calling for the re-introduction of corporal punishment.

Prosecutor Nathan Miebai said at an earlier hearing at City of London Magistrates’ Court: "The defendant, Mr Hendron, and his partner Mr Jimenez were present at their flat on the evening of January 19 through to January 20, 2015.

"Mr Jimenez was found unresponsive by Mr Hendron on January 20.

"There has been a toxicology analysis which found that Mr Jimenez died of a drug overdose."

Hendron, of 6 Pump Court, Temple, City of London, pleaded guilty to possession of the Class B drug Methedrone and the Class C drug Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) with intent to supply.

Parkin, of Manchester Street, Westminster, admitted supplying the Class B drug Methedrone and the Class C drug Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL).

The ‘chemsex’ phenomena sweeping the gay community has been identified as a major health hazard by the NHS and the BMA.

Participants take drugs for up at a week at a time and have sex with multiple partners often summoned to the orgy on the internet.  

October 28, 2015

AIDS Advocates Launched Campaign to Save Discount Drug program from PhRMA



PhRMA Needs to make a few more billions and is taken the business approach of ‘if you can’t afford it you shouldn’t buy it’ even if it cost you your life. We are back to the past with advocates and HIV people going to the streets to protest the gutting of this program to improve the already sky high profits. They have promised a big return to their share holders and how are going to keep their word if they don’t raise the prices? What if it kill some people, people die everyday. That seems to be the business model of some drug manufacturers. 

AIDS advocates and others launched a campaign to save the 340B discount drug program from being gutted by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), according to a press release by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), one of the groups leading the charge.

Protesters took to the streets outside PhRMA headquarters in Washington, DC, on October 22, as PhRMA held a roundtable discussion about the 340B program. 

AHF also launched a public service announcement titled “I Count,” in which people who rely on the discount meds say, “Actual people count, not profits. Stop counting profits and start counting people.”

Congress created the 340B program in 1992. It requires drug manufacturers to provide discount meds to nonprofits and groups such as AIDS service providers that meet the needs of underserved clients. The program accounts for only 2 percent of drug purchases nationwide, but drug lobbyists are intent on gutting the program, according to the AHF. 

“340B works beautifully. The only people who have a problem with it are greedy drug companies and the people who support them,” said AHF president, Michael Weinstein. “And 340B does not cost the government anything: all of the discounts come from the drug companies, simply in the form of reduced profits on the sales of these drugs. As the 340B program is only two percent of all drug sales, the drug companies can easily afford this. In fact, if 340B is cut, more people will turn to the government for help. Safety net providers participating in 340B are a vital part of the healthcare delivery system which need to be reinforced not cut.”

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA), the 340B discount drug pricing program, which was created by Congress in 1992, “…requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations/covered entities at significantly reduced prices. The 340B Program enables covered entities to stretch scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.”
“Under the guise of ‘leadership,’ the drug industry is trying to weaken and dismantle elements of the government’s successful and lifesaving 340B discount drug program, which serves underserved communities through pharmacies run by AIDS organizations like AHF as well as other community groups,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “340B works beautifully. The only people who have a problem with it are greedy drug companies and the people who support them. And 340B does not cost the government anything: all of the discounts come from the drug companies, simply in the form of reduced profits on the sales of these drugs. As the 340B program is only two percent of all drug sales, the drug companies can easily afford this. In fact, if 340B is cut, more people will turn to the government for help. Safety net providers participating in 340B are a vital part of the healthcare delivery system which need to be reinforced not cut.”
“The 340B program is under constant assault from PhRMA and the drug industry, which will not stop until they have killed or severely handicapped this program,” said Michelle Morgan, AHF’s Director of National Advocacy Campaigns, and who is spearheading Thursday’s protest. “Unfortunately, some in Congress and the administration in general seem to be far more concerned about what pharma thinks than in looking out for safety net providers and their patients. That is why we are protesting at PhRMA—to stop drug companies’ efforts to gut a federal program that helps the neediest so they can fatten their wallets. We are also demanding that HRSA abandon its ill-conceived and unlawful ‘Mega-Guidance’ recommendations.”
PhRMA Event Will Explain PhRMA’s Interpretation of HRSA’s Proposed ‘Mega-Guidance’ for 340B
The catalyst for the Roundtable Discussion hosted by PhRMA (and the protest) was the recent release of proposed ‘Mega-Guidance’ on the 340B program issued by HRSA and which is now open for public comment. This proposed Guidance, which allies of PhRMA have called “a good start,” will severely limit the ability of safety net providers to participate in the program, and restrict the amount of care and services they can provide to vulnerable populations. The luncheon roundtable is intended to discuss PhRMA’s interpretation of this Guidance. The purpose of the protest is to provide a countervailing voice, that the program works exactly as Congress intended: it saves the federal government money, and helps protect the public health.
“The Mega-Guidance that HRSA has proposed is a solution in search of a problem,” said Laura Boudreau, Chief Counsel for Operations for AHF. “The guidance goes outside the bounds of the 340B law in a number of key respects that deeply hurt safety net providers and the patients they serve. If the guidance goes through as written, there will inevitably be legal action by safety net providers to challenge it, just the way that the drug industry has previously challenged other 340B guidance.”
The pharmaceutical industry has twice sued to show that HRSA does not have the legal authority under the original 340B legislation to create regulations with the exception of in a very few areas, an assessment that AHF agrees with. In 2007, HRSA also started down the same path of issuing guidance but later withdrew it.
Harris Poll (Dec. 2013): Only 1 in 10 Americans Thinks Pharma Is “…Honest and Trustworthy.”
And from the industry that brazenly put the word ‘Integrity’ in the name of its pharmaceutical advocacy coalition, ‘Alliance for Reform and Integrity,’ a 2013 Harris Poll revealed: “Just one in ten (Americans) say they think … pharma and drug companies (10%) … are generally honest and trustworthy.”
Since then, the industry’s reputation has taken even further hits with widespread negative public reaction to the roll out of Gilead’s $1,000 per pill Hepatitis C treatment in 2013. In addition, news last month that former hedge fund manager and current Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli was raising the price of the drug Daraprim, a 62-year-old medication to treat toxoplasmosis, from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill drew enormous negative media coverage, widespread public outrage and prompted calls for a government investigation. All pharma’s actions on its pricing and policies—including price-gouging like Mr. Shkreli’s—is making the issue of drug pricing and access a significant 2016 presidential campaign issue.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 492,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website:, find us on Facebook: and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.


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Christopher Johnson
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+1.323.960.4846 work
+1.310.880.9913 mobile

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