Excerpted from Politico
A nonprofit that made ambitious promises to help people addicted to opioids is losing its biggest financial backer — the drug lobby.
PhRMA, which has provided the Addiction Policy Forum with about 90 percent of its funding, cut its donation from $8.1 million to $6 million this year. The lobby will end all support in 2020, PhRMA and the forum’s CEO, Jessica Hulsey Nickel, confirmed.
POLITICO spoke with eight current and former employees who stated that Nickel had poorly managed some of the millions the forum spent on a K Street office, a now empty, million-dollar high-tech Chicago call center, annual meetings and other projects.
Nickel — a lobbyist who has described growing up in foster care as her parents struggled with heroin addiction — denies the accusations of poor management, saying the digital health software and telecommunications infrastructure the forum bought for more than $1 million is still in use. “Not a dollar was wasted,” she said.