Fox Guarding the Hen House? –

April 5, 2018 – …Nickel’s three-year-old nonprofit is increasingly in the spotlight, both for its high-profile advocacy work and its close ties with drug makers. The vast majority of the group’s funding comes from pharmaceutical companies, some of whose executives sit on its advisory board. Overshadowed by APF’s funding sources, however, is a more striking connection: Until last fall, Nickel was concurrently working as a lobbyist for Alkermes, the maker of a drug used to treat opioid addiction, while heading the nonprofit. In interviews with STAT, Nickel brushed off concerns about her work with Alkermes and her group’s multimillion-dollar partnership with PhRMA, the drug industry lobbying group, calling those reservations “an old way of thinking.” … “We need to be collaborating with industry, companies that have R&D budgets,” Nickel said. “The folks that cure diseases need to be at the table with us, so I stand by this partnership. I stand by the decision.”

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