The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

John Sellers, 
Phone: (510) 390-6416

Anti-Pharma Activists Run Full-Page Ad in Philly Calling Out DNC and RNC On Their "Buy-Partisan" Support of Drug Corporations

Satirical ad is text message conversation between “Big Pharma Bro” and average person outraged by why Americans pay more for life-saving medicines than anyone else on Earth.


Anti-Pharma activists fired a shot across the DNC's bow today by running a full-page ad in the Philadelphia Daily News calling out Democrats (and Republicans) on their collusion with drug corporations. The satirical ad features the voice of a character called Big Pharma Bro, a fictional drug company CEO who loves to brag about the monopolies he owns on life-saving medicines thanks to the money he invests in lobbying and political contributions.

The ad was placed by Other98 Action, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating the influence of corporate dollars on the American political system. "Pharma gets incredible 'buy-partisan' support in Congress," said John Sellers, Executive Director of Other98. "Republicans didn't get us into this situation alone; we're reminding all politicians that if they want our votes, then they'd better break up with Big Pharma and fight for the American people."

Other98 and allies from Social Security Works, Act Up, and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines have teamed up to create an infotaining new website called, featuring a series of text message exchanges between a fictional (but accurate) Pharma CEO and everyman John Doe. takes on issues from the astounding amount of money drug corporations spend on Capitol Hill (more than any other industry), to the monopolies they are given on life-saving medicines (after American taxpayers foot most of the bill for the invention of new drugs), to the obscene profits that drug corporations make by operating like hedge funds. Visitors are encouraged to sign a petition demanding that America's next President dramatically reduce the price of medicines invented with taxpayer money.

The ad isn't the coalition's only presence at the DNC. On Saturday, Other98 joined students from Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), AIDS activists from ACT UP Philadelphia and ACT UP New York, comedian John F. O'Donnell, and additional Philadelphia community activist groups for a "tug-of-war" outside Clinton's Philadelphia campaign headquarters. With patients and students on one side and actors portraying "Pharma Bros" on the other, the action urged the next president to "pick a side" by committing to reining in out-of-control drug prices in the U.S. and worldwide, and ending global disease epidemics.

"Pharmaceutical companies have spent more than any other industry to buy influence on both sides of the aisle. Candidates for president must reject these payoffs and stand with patients who need these medicines to live," said Other98's Actions Director Samantha Corbin. "In the face of rampant price gouging, the 2016 nominees must establish pro-patient, pro-public agendas."

The ad can be seen in Monday, July 25's issue of the Philadelphia Daily News; more texts can be found at Photographs from the Saturday action can be found on Facebook.