Drug pricing watchdog group targets California Dem in $500K ad buy

Drug pricing watchdog group targets California Dem in $500K ad buy
© Greg Nash

An advocacy group pushing for lower drug prices is launching a $500,000 campaign against Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooDrug pricing watchdog group targets California Dem in 0K ad buy Lawmakers split over how to expand rural broadband Hillicon Valley: Senate votes to save net neutrality | Senate panel breaks with House, says Russia favored Trump in 2016 | Latest from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower | Lawmakers push back on helping Chinese tech giant MORE (D-Calif.) for her "cozy ties to the drug industry."

Patients for Affordable Drugs Action announced Friday it would send mailers to voters in Eshoo's district as she seeks her 14th term in Congress.

“Anna Eshoo’s record on drug prices is terrible, and the reason why is obvious,” said David Mitchell, founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Action. “She’s taken enormous sums of money from drug corporations, and she does their bidding in Washington."

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He added that voters "deserve a representative who will work to lower prescription drug prices, not one who is in the pocket of Big Pharma.”

It's the first time the group has targeted a Democrat in its campaign to oust politicians "in the pockets of Big Pharma." This is the first election cycle that the group has been active in.

Eshoo won reelection in 2016 by 42 points against GOP challenger Richard Fox. In November, she will face Christine Russell (R).

The organization says Eshoo has taken more than $1.58 million in contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry over the course of her career on Capitol Hill — the most of any House member.

"Eshoo’s name has for years been conspicuously absent from important pieces of legislation that could lower drug prices," Patients for Affordable Drugs Action said in its announcement. "Instead, Eshoo lent vigorous support to policies that would extend drug companies’ monopolies and keep prices high."

Eshoo's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The mailers the groups will send to voters describe Eshoo as a politician who is in the pocket of Big Pharma.

"When politicians like Congresswoman Anna Eshoo take money from Big Pharma, it's hardworking Californians desperate for lower prescription drug prices who are being hurt," the mailer reads. 

Patients for Affordable Drugs said it will spend millions more in campaigns across the country this year to defeat politicians who it says are in the pockets of Big Pharma.