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AHF Warnings About Drug Industry Conflicts in Congress Vindicated; U.S. Justice Department Indicts Former Drug Industry Exec, Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY)

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Effort to 'Reform' 340B Tainted by Pharmaceutical Industry Corruption

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
today reacted to the news that the U.S. Justice Department has charged
U.S. Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) for insider stock trading and lying
to law enforcement agents
about the crime.

In April of this year, AHF called on Rep. Collins to recuse himself from
any issue affecting the pharmaceutical industry (See AHF release
4/27/18). A Daily Beast news
investigation
 published earlier that month outlined several
conflicts of interest that Rep. Collins had with regard to personal and
family business dealings and legislation he subsequently introduced.
Today's announcement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of New York vindicates what AHF has said about Collins months
before this indictment was announced.

AHF also noted U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul
D. Ryan's decision to remove Collins
from the House Energy &
Commerce Committee until the case has run its course—standard protocol
for Members of Congress under indictment.

The bill
of indictment
also charges Collins's son, Cameron Collins, and the
father of Cameron Collins's fiancee, Stephen Zarsky. In a separate
action, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC")
filed a civil action against Chris Collins, Cameron Collins, and Zarsky.

"Congressman Collins has been a leader in the drug industry's attack on
the 340B Drug Pricing Program. In the name of reform, he falsely accused
the program of abuses without showing a shred of evidence. All the
while, he himself was engaged in a secret conspiracy to enrich himself
and his family by engaging in insider stock trading on drug industry
publicly-traded securities," said AHF President Michael Weinstein.
"In fact, the entire 340B ‘reform' project is tainted by Pharma
corruption and its undue influence on Congress, and Collins is the
father of this movement."

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr.
said: "Congressman Christopher Collins sat on Innate Immunotherapeutics'
Board of Directors for a period of more than three years, spanning the
run-up to the company's clinical drug trial announcement in 2017. When
he received confidential information that the drug had failed its trial,
he tipped off investors with whom he shared a personal relationship, as
we allege. Congressman Collins thought giving his family and friends a
heads-up about material, nonpublic information would benefit them in the
long run, but here's a better inside tip for those who think they can
play by different rules: Access to this kind of information carries with
it a significant responsibility, especially for those who hold a
position of trust in our society. Act honorably and in accordance with
the law, and do not lie to a special agent of the FBI."

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
965,000 individuals in 41 countries worldwide in the U.S., Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

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