Armey quits DLA Piper under pharma pressure

Pharma's heavyweight status in the healthcare reform fight has claimed a high-profile victim: former House Republican leader Dick Armey. The Congressman-turned-lobbyist quit his job at the DLA Piper firm, apparently because some drug company clients complained about his extracurricular opposition to healthcare reform.

As you may know, Armey chairs the conservative activist group FreedomWorks, which has been helping to organize the raucous demonstrations at town hall meetings on reform. Well, one of DLA Piper's biggest clients is Medicines Co., which paid $240,000 in fees to the firm just last quarter. Sanofi Pasteur spent $30,000 with DLA Piper during the same period. 

DLA Piper Chairman Frank Burch said he was glad Armey took "the initiative to clear up confusion concerning FreedomWorks" and its links, or lack thereof, with the firm (as quoted in the New York Times). "The firm has not, on its own behalf, or on the behalf of any client, directly or indirectly opposed any of the pending health care reform bills," Burch said.

- read the NYT story
- see the BNet Pharma post

ALSO: Check out one of the pharma-funded ads in support of healthcare reform, now showing on television station near you. Report