The Senator

The Union

WHO'S RESPONSIBLE?


Meet the Cabal that Keeps Generics Scarce*

Physicians Against Drug Shortages urges the SEIU, Sen. Schumer, and the American Hospital Association to drop their opposition to GPO reform and join with us to end the global drug shortage crisis. 
Schumer's questionable close ties to the GPO lobby, particularly GNYHA, are well-documented. In 2011 and 2012, at the behest of his campaign contributors, he held press conferences unfairly blaming shortages on alleged "price gouging" by so-called "gray market" distributors.

  • "Schumer defends system that creates shortages of critical prescription drugs," Buffalo News, Mar. 16, 2014​. ​READ ARTICLE

  • "GNYHA Honors Dr. Herb Pardes, Senator Charles Schumer," Skyline News [GNYHA newsletter], July 2, 2012. READ ARTICLE​


  • "Sen. Schumer calls for FTC investigation into gray market drugs," Healthcare Finance News, Oct. 10, 2011. READ ARTICLE.


  • "Schumer, hospital officials help each other," Newsday,  Aug. 2, 2009. READ ARTICLE

  • "GPO Reform in Offing? Congress Monitors, While Schumer Shifts Stance," Gray Sheet, Mar. 26, 2007: READ ARTICLE​

         Fmr Rep. Phil English (R-PA)       Blair Childs, Premier Inc.  
​             Fmr Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT)       Fmr Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)   
                             CEO: Ed Jones       CEO: Todd Ebert

                   CEO: John A. Bardis    CEO: Jody Hatcher   CEO: Susan DeVore

Andy Stern (L), former president of the Service Int'l Employees Union and Dennis Rivera (R), former head of SEIU Local 1199 in New York, From about 2000 until 2006, SEIU had publicly supported  repeal of the safe harbor to enable its healthcare worker members to gain access to safer syringes, which have been blocked from  hospitals by anticompetitive GPO contracting practices. [READ SEIU Statement to Senate Antitrust Subcommittee hearing of Sept. 14, 2014 and READ  MonteWatch, Feb. 2003]


In 2006, the union "pivoted" 180 degrees and opposed reform. This resulted from an agreement between the GNYHA and Local 1199, in which GNYHA promised continued generous increases in compensation and benefits if the SEIU stopped pushing for repeal of the anti-kickback safe harbor.

Curtis Rooney, president, Healthcare Supply Chain Association (formerly Health Industry Group Purchasing Association, or HIGPA), the GPO trade group.  

His marching orders: Keep GPO kickbacks by blocking repeal of Medicare anti-kickback safe harbor by all means possible. [Note: Mr. Rooney resigned suddenly in early July 2015 without explanation. HSCA gave no reason for his departure]


​*READ our New York Times op-ed of Sept. 3, 2013, "How a Cabal Keeps Generics Scarce"

Richard (Rich) Umbdenstock, president & CEO, American Hospital Association. Top hospital  executives  oppose reform because they receive patronage fees and other perks to ensure compliance with rigid GPO contracts. Further, state hospital associations extract additional "fees" by operating their own GPOs.
Lee Perlman, president,  GNYHA [Greater New York Hospital Association] Ventures. "Partner" of Premier Inc. and  a GPO in its own right. READ "A Region's Hospital Supplies: Costly Ties," New York Times, Oct. 8, 2002
The Lobbyists

In September 2011, the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA) announced the hiring of former Senators Robert Bennett and Byron Dorgan and former Congressman Phil English. Their marching orders: Block repeal of the safe harbor. 
READ PRESS RELEASE
The most rabid opponent of GPO reform in Congress is Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). At a Mar. 15, 2006 Senate Antitrust hearing on GPO abuses, he lambasted his colleagues, Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Mike DeWine (R-OH), for even holding the hearing. 

Exposing GPOs