Big Drug Companies are running an Ad is that untruthful, full of grossly misleading statements about AIDS Healthcare Foundation!


COLUMBUS – The Yes on Issue 2 campaign sent a cease and desist letter this morning to TV and cable stations in Ohio and West Virginia calling on them to take down their opposition’s negative, untruthful TV ad about global humanitarian Michael Weinstein and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has provided healthcare to millions across the world and thousands in Ohio.


“Michael and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have provided healthcare to millions of low-income and sick patients across the globe and thousands in Ohio. These baseless attacks and flat out lies about him and the organization he leads are an attempt to cast doubt in the minds of voters,” said Dennis Willard, Yes on Issue 2 spokesperson.

The letter, which can be read in full here, blasts the opposition’s ad as “false, misleading, and deceptive,” and calls on TV stations to “not be a party to its distribution, and … immediately cease airing it.” The letter further calls on TV stations to pull down the ad because they have a duty to “protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising.”

Briefly, the misleading claims and fact-check include:

LIE: AIDS Healthcare Foundation is a for profit company.
FACT: The Foundation is a non-profit healthcare foundation that has provided healthcare to millions of people across the world and is the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the United States.

LIE: AIDS Healthcare Foundation sells prescription drugs and is in operation to make money.
FACT: The Foundation receives reimbursements from insurance companies and third-party payers and does not sell drugs for profit.

LIE: Michael Weinstein is another corporate CEO.
FACT: Michael is the President of AHF, and is compensated for his work at a fraction of the rate of lavishly-compensated huge drug company CEOs. His work has helped millions of people prevent becoming infected with HIV/AIDS and treat those already infected, including 17,000 in Ohio over the past 3 years.

In stark contrast, the major funders against the Yes on Issue 2 campaign:

  • Mylan, Inc., which manufactures the EpiPen and other pharmaceuticals, hauled in $480 million in profits in 2016 alone; its CEO was paid $13.3 million.
  • The CEO of Johnson & Johnson, was compensated to the tune of $21.2 million in 2016; his company boasted $16.5 billion in profits that year.
  • Merck took in $1.1 billion in profits in 2016 and paid its CEO $17 million.
  • The pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc., paid its CEO $13.9 million in 2016 while the company raked in $15.7 billion in profits.

The letter goes on to describe the strong presence the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has in Ohio: “It operates healthcare centers in Columbus and Cleveland and a wellness center, thrift store, pharmacy and HIV testing center in Columbus. It provides financial support for the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, employs a staff of 156 Ohioans, and over the last three years has treated and tested 17,000 Ohioans.”
“We know that our opposition is funded by huge drug companies, who have shown that they will stop at nothing, including raise the price of life-saving drugs by 400% overnight to put profits before people. Our opposition and the drug companies have to lie on TV because they know Ohioans want lower drug prices, and want to save $400 million in tax dollars that are now going to excess profits. Voters are going to say yes to Issue 2,” said Willard.

The Yes on Issue 2 campaign is a broad-based, bi-partisan coalition. More than 200,000 Ohio voters signed petitions to put an amendment on the ballot in November that will lower drug prices for over 4 million Ohioans, including 164,000 children, save taxpayers $400 million annually, reduce healthcare costs for everyone and teach greedy drug companies and their CEOs a lesson.

But you can take action and TV stations to stop running lies!

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