Buyer’s Front Foundation Familial Pharmaceutical Folly

The Buyer Front Foundation story continues to have legs and continues to be a family affair. TPM Muckraker reports:

Drug industry umbrella group PhRMA, which has given $200,000 to given Rep. Steve Buyer’s Frontier Foundation, in June 2008 hired a director of the foundation as its federal affairs manager, TPMmuckraker has confirmed.

The name of that director? Ryan Buyer, son of the Indiana congressman.

In February of this year, while Ryan Buyer was at PhRMA, the drug group gave another $25,000 to Frontier, in honor of Rep. Buyer, according to disclosure documents. It also gave $25,000 in 2008.

Frontier is the foundation which, in six years of existence, hasn’t given out any money for its stated purpose of scholarships for Indiana students, but has done lots to support the congressman’s golf game.

With the revelation that Ryan Buyer was hired by PhRMA in what appears to be a lobbying position, the web of connections between the Indiana congressman, his foundation, and the drug industry grows still thicker.

Reached at PhRMA headquarters in Washington, Ryan Buyer told TPMmuckraker in a brief phone interview that there is a meeting scheduled for tomorrow in Indiana, and “because of those details” — ie, that PhRMA gave heavily to the foundation while employing one of its board members — “I’m probably going to be replaced once we appoint somebody for the position on the board.”

It’s not clear what prompted the meeting, but it may well be press coverage of Frontier, as Ryan Buyer has worked for PhRMA and been on Frontier’s board simultaneously for well over a year now.

Rep. Buyer is a member of the House Energy Subcommittee on Health, which regulates drugs, and matters in which PhRMA has a stake frequently appear before the committee. Buyer himself in 2007 led an effort to kill a ban on advertisements for new drugs and other restrictions.

We don’t really have much to add to that except that we can see why Buyer has such a disdain for healthcare reform. Who’s gonna employ his kids if drugs get cheaper and the pharmaceutical industry has to lay-off some lobbyists?

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