Media: Brandon Cuicchi 646.284.2948
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AIDS ACTIVISTS TUG-OF-WAR WITH PHARMABRO’S OUTSIDE CLINTON CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS
July 25, 2016 – Philadelphia, PA – Over the weekend, the New York and Philadelphia chapters of ACT UP,
the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, teamed up with allies UAEM (Universities Allied for Essential Medicines) and The Other 98% to stage a tug-of-war with pharma bro’s outside Hillary Clinton’s Philadelphia campaign headquarters ahead of the Democratic National Convention. Activists targeted candidate Clinton for her refusal to renew her 2008 campaign pledges to regulate the price-gouging of medicines made by major pharmaceutical companies like Gilead and Pfizer. The high prices make it hard for people with HIV as well as other people to access the lifesaving treatment they need. “Hillary Clinton made pledges to have 30 million on treatment by 2020. Many are sick, and some have died waiting for the treatment,” said ACT UP Philadelphia member Jose De Marco. “This is not the way to the AIDS Free Generation she talked about.” Currently, taxpayers help fund the development of new medicines through grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to universities. The drugs are then licensed to companies to sell back to consumers at high prices. “Hillary Clinton must provide concrete solutions for pharmaceutical price-gouging and challenge the current patent system for drugs that Americans pay for with their taxes,” said Brandon Cuicchi of ACT UP NY. Around thirty people met at the Love Statue in Philadelphia’s City Hall Park and marched, carrying signs and chanting, to Clinton’s campaign headquarters a few blocks away. When they arrived, they were met by a pharma bro played by comedian John F. O’Donnell from RT’s Redacted Tonight along with the bigheaded likenesses of other notable pharma bros like Martin Shkreli. The pharma bros waved giant moneybags and challenged activists to a tug-of-war to win influence over Hillary Clinton.
ACT UP NEW YORK TO TRUMP AND THE EXTREME RIGHT OF THE GOP: NOT IN OUR NAME!
TRUMP CONTINUES TO ADVOCATE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PEACEFUL MUSLIMS WHILE MEETING WITH ANTI-GAY AND ANTI-TRANSGENDER HATE GROUPS
WHERE: Trump Tower on 5th Ave btwn 56th and 57th St.
New York, NY — ACT UP NY along with leaders from Muslim, Latinx and LGBTQ organizations will rally in front of Trump tower in New York City against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's use of the recent massacre at a gay bar in Orlando to polarize Americans.
On Tuesday June 21st, 2016 Donald Trump will meet with the leaders of multiple anti-LGBTQ hate groups in a cynical attempt to exploit homophobia, transphobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, and racism to overcome his historically bad polls and unpopularity with the majority of the American people.
“Just over a week after the slaughter of dozens of LGBTQ people at Pulse in Orlando, Donald Trump is seeking the support and the endorsement of groups who have -- for decades -- advocated hatred, discrimination, and violence against our community,” said James Krellenstein, a member of ACT UP NY. “By continuing to embrace, rather than condemn these hate groups, Donald Trump and the Republican Party are spitting on the victims of the Orlando Massacre.”
- New York City, May 31, 2016 - Today, ACT UP New York (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) will be rallying outside Sec. Clinton’s fundraiser at the Sheraton Hotel at 811 7th Avenue and 53rd street from 4:30-6:00PM.
Earlier this month, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton met with a coalition of AIDS activists, including members of ACT UP, and pledged to work to end the epidemic spread of HIV/AIDS in the US and internationally. These important goals need to be met, and there need to be more effective financial and healthcare delivery mechanisms to ensure that they are met. While Clinton as Secretary of State called for an AIDS free generation in 2012 on behalf of the Obama Administration, progress has been too slow.
Currently 50,000 people in the US are infected with HIV annually and more than 1.4 million live with the disease. Improvement of the healthcare infrastructure is necessary to implement the new use of expanded access to HIV prevention drugs and to insure that every person that has HIV/AIDS has the ability to get treatment. Currently only 37% of those with HIV in the US are on treatment.
ACT UP/NY has promoted the following mechanisms for years that could achieve those goals. We urge that Candidate Clinton vigorously support the following:
Universal Single-Payer Healthcare needs to be implemented in the US to ensure everyone is covered from birth to death and to help contain prices for healthcare. It would enable preventive HIV treatments like Truvada to be affordable and available to all who need it and HIV/AIDS therapies to be more accessible. Many people with HIV are co-infected with Hepatitis C virus which imperils their health. We need a single-payer healthcare system that can effectively bargain for fair prices for Hepatitis C drugs and all drugs for the entire population.
Robin Hood Tax to Fight AIDS and for Social Goods: Globally 21.5 Million people need treatment. One of the main blocks to this is that international funding mechanisms for the Global Fund to End AIDS are inadequate. Bilateral aid programs like PEPFAR do not make up the difference. Whoever is elected President needs to push for a financial mechanism to fulfill this need. ACT UP supports the use of a small 0.5% tax on all Wall Street trades to generate hundreds of billions of dollars to be put into social needs, like full funding for Global AIDS, combatting climate change and creating full employment
ACT UP and Other Health Activists Rally Against High Drug Prices
NY – Last Thursday, April Fools Day eve, the Washington Post (see reprint) briefly reported that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc. had “vowed today to stop the time-tested habit of jacking up the list prices of its drugs each year.”
As it turned out, an ad hoc group of activists calling themselves “Nobody’s Fool,” in collaboration with the cyberspace activist group The Yes Men, created the fake press releases and websites. The content of these websites is attached.
The fake website for PhRMA Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America “announced” a Sustainable Pricing Plan for the 21st Century, an ostensible initiative establishing a new pricing model that would improve access to medications by lowering prices.
On the fake Pfizer website, the company “announced” the immediate end to price increases. Several online media outlets, including the Washington Post, fell for the prank and reported the announcements as real before the websites were shut down. Pfizer has released a statement to disregard the new drug pricing policy and its commitment to “engaging in an honest discussion” with patients about affordable medicines. The community of health activists is open to pursuing this opportunity with Pfizer to discuss improvements in the way medicines are priced so everyone can access the treatment they need.
The next day, April 1, dozens of activists from ACT UP New York and other organizations converged at the New York City headquarters of Pfizer, to demand drug pricing reforms. Activists criticized Pfizer because it:
• consistently implements price increases that far outstrip the rate of inflation;
• is engaging in a merger with Irish drug company Allergan to avoid paying