On Thursday, I wrote a blog for the Huffpo titled Key Democrats Back BIO Industry Against Consumers to Delay Generic Medicines (Biosimilars)." (BIO Stands for the Biotechnology Industry Association).
One of the key democrats I mentioned was Joe Trippi, who wrote an article in the Huffpo on July 8, pushing an industry backed bill for a 12-14.5 year minimum monopoly on biologic medicines. Another was Howard Dean, who also wrote a pro-industry op ed on July 8, a few days before key Senate and House votes on the BIO backed measure.
A little more than a hour ago, Trippi posted this administion on his web page:"I work on behalf of the Biotechnology Industry Organization," followed by the lame assertion that "I have never been paid by anyone to post or blog anything by anyone." Well, what is BIO paying Joe to do? Plugging the Eshoo/Barton bill is a freebee?
I know I write out of passion, and, while I have never been paid by anyone to post or blog anything by anyone, it doesn't matter. I have a responsibility to disclose my professional relationships--not only here, but everywhere I post--even though my motive is my passion. The fact that anyone was confused by my motives is not their fault, it's mine. It's my responsibility--not my staff's or anyone else's--to make not just my motives clear, but my professional relationships clear.
From this point forward, no matter how passionate I am about a cause or candidate, I will disclose any professional relationship. As someone who has watched the online progressive community grow, I owe this community an apology. It was my mistake that I didn't recognize that outside of this community, I haven't made my professional relationships clear and I need to - it will never happen again.
To put this into context. Trippi works for BIO. He is plugging the Eshoo/Barton bill on biosimilars that is opposed by President Obama, the FTC, Represent Henry Waxman, AARP, Consumers Union, AFL-CIO, Public Citizen, PIRG, KEI, Essential Action, UAEM, and other groups not on the industry payroll.