'Auchincloss Is a Shill': Democrat Excoriated for Siding With Big Pharma Against Lower Drug Prices

After siding with pharmaceutical corporations instead of his constituents earlier this month, Congressman Jake Aunchincloss of Massachusetts became the target of a mobile billboard campaign launched Tuesday by progressive organizers fighting for lower drug prices.

On May 3, Auchincloss—the recipient of more than $66,000 in campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry during the 2019-2020 election cycle—spearheaded a letter (pdf) in which he and nine other conservative House Democrats convey their opposition to H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, a drug price negotiation bill favored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

As Politico reported earlier this month, the resistance of 10 conservative Democrats to reforms aimed at reducing the price of prescription medications is more than enough to undermine the legislation given the party’s thin House majority.

In response to the Auchincloss-led attempt to block Democratic efforts to lower drug prices, Social Security Works and Organize for Justice, a sister organization of Justice Democrats, are calling out the right-wing Democrat for putting the financial interests of Big Pharma above the well-being of his constituents.


“After all we’ve been through in this pandemic, it’s unconscionable that Rep. Auchincloss would rather do the bidding of Big Pharma corporate donors than lower prescription drug prices for working families,” Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats and board president of Organize for Justice, said in a statement.

A billboard truck on Tuesday was parked outside the lawmaker’s Attleboro District office, though the sign outside the building is still adorned with the name of former Rep. Joe Kennedy, whom Auchincloss replaced following Kennedy’s loss to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) last year.

“There’s nothing ‘moderate’ or ‘bipartisan’ about blocking plans to lower drug prices,” said Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works. “In fact, lowering drug prices is incredibly popular with voters across the political spectrum. Auchincloss is a shill for pharmaceutical corporations, and we’re making sure his constituents know it.”

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