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National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices Disappears?

Posted Oct 28 2008 9:57pm
So, the seven state legislators that call themselves the “National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices (NLARx)” seems to have gone out of business (thanks to Mike Porter for the tip!). I first wrote on this group about a month ago. Of all the ironies, the NLARx website now sells virility pills! I tried calling the group’s phone number earlier today and got a busy signal for several hours. Looks like they have finally folded.

It’s a shame really. Before beginning its new life of selling sexual enhancement products, the NLARx website contained of wealth of myths and urban legends about the pharmaceutical industry. But one such tidbit really caught my attention and made me wonder if they had gone from eccentric to just plain dillusional. They claimed that someone showed up in their offices in Maine requesting a copy of their IRS Form 990. NLARX even put out a press release about it (see below; thanks again to Mike for grabbing a copy of this before the site went away).

My initial reaction was that this was masterful publicity stunt from a marginal, grassroots organization. In the past, this has worked very well for the fringes of the environmental movement. You fabricate an incident in which you are the victims of a vast conspiracy of the industrialized, pro-globalization community in order to gain sympathy and credibility. Initially, it seemed like this National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices was creating just such an incident.

However, I decided to take the organizations’ Executive Director, Ms. Sharon Treat at her word, “that being public information” she would be happy to “oblige.” So for the last month, I have attempted to obtain a copy of the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices IRS Form 990 (directly from them). The outcome—two ignored e-mails, one ignored fax and one hang up when I called them. Unfortunately, they are not registered with the non-profit clearing house GuideStar. Evidently the only way to get a copy of the Form 990 from this organization is to show up at their offices unannounced and demand a copy—just like the “mysterious man posing as a blogger” (I wish I had thought of it first).

Legitimate organizations from the Epilepsy Foundation to the Nature Conservancy and groups in between all put their IRS Form 990s on their website. Why not the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices? What is the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices trying to hide? Why did they make such a fuss about a tax form and put out a press release about it? Why is this group going to such lengths to keep this information a secret? Who is truly behind this organization? Ms. Treat, inquiring minds want to know.

Who sent him, and what was he really looking for?
Media Advisory
Call us paranoid, but the visit last Friday to our remotely located offices in Hallowell, Maine by a mysterious man posing as a blogger seeking financial information on the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices has us wondering who or what is behind it all. Refusing to give us a business card, and providing what turned out to be fake contact information, a man showed up seeking copies of our IRS 990. That being public information, we obliged, but we wondered why drive up from New Hampshire (he said) to get a document that could have been faxed? And why would someone with a blog (oh, sorry, no name or web address, he hasn’t actually started it) seek such information in the first place? And why was the phone number he gave us out of order? And was he connected to the mysterious woman calling our office the day before from (she said) Massachusetts , asking where our offices are located but refusing to give her name? Who sent this guy, and why go to such lengths to keep your identity a secret? What was he really trying to find out? And why did he peel out of the public boat landing parking lot nearby in his late model car faster than you can say “Karasik Conspiracy”?* Inquiring minds want to know.
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