By Jim Sedlak
This week we released a report to Congress about an incestuous business relationship between Planned Parenthood and a private company called Afaxys, Inc. To obtain a copy of that report, click here.
It is important to understand that the normal flow of birth control products starts at the manufacturer, passes through a distributor, goes to a family planning clinic or center, and then winds up in the hands of the consumer or end user. At each step of the process, the price is marked up and each entity makes a profit.
Historically, Planned Parenthood has been one of the major operators of family planning clinics. PP buys the products from the distributors or directly from the manufacturer and then sells those products to its clients.
Back in 1970 the federal government decided that it should become involved in this process and use taxpayer money to lower the cost of the products to “poor people.” A poor person is defined as a person or family unit that has an annual income less than a certain dollar amount. Normally this amount is set at about 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Both Title X and Title XIX (Medicaid) programs are examples of these programs. States across the country have their own versions of these programs.
In addition to cutting the costs at the final stage where the end user buys the product, there are additional government programs (such as the 340B program) designed to lower the markups between the manufacturer and the family planning clinics. Thus, for many years, the American taxpayer has subsidized the distribution of harmful and deadly birth control drugs to the girls and women of America.
A new twist
All of this fairly orderly (if unethical) supply chain of mostly abortifacient drugs began to change dramatically in 2008. As our report shows, it was in that year that Planned Parenthood deliberately began to move to gain control of the entire supply chain. In doing that, it stands to make millions of dollars more from the entire process.
To begin this takeover, Planned Parenthood created a private company named Afaxys, Inc. Afaxys was established in large part by Planned Parenthood personnel, and the seed money was obtained in large part by investments in Afaxys by Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country. Although Afaxys will undoubtedly claim that it is a separate company and not part of Planned Parenthood, our report shows all the connections and even cites a Planned Parenthood affiliate as describing Afaxys as “a Planned Parenthood affiliated company.”
Beginning in 2008, Afaxys began operating a group purchasing organization. The purpose of this GPO was to sign on clinics and centers (including Planned Parenthood facilities) as “partners” and to negotiate reduced prices for birth control products from the manufacturers. In 2013 Afaxys announced a new division, Afaxys Pharmaceuticals, which has become a manufacturer of generic birth control products.
With this, Planned Parenthood and its “affiliated company” now have their tentacles into every step of the birth control supply chain.
Not for everyone
Afaxys focuses exclusively on one particular part of the birth control end user community—the public sector. If you want to be part of this new empire, you must be a clinic or other facility that qualifies for taxpayer support. Only 340(B) authorized providers; family planning clinics; city, county, or state facilities; federal facilities; health centers affiliated with a secondary education system (i.e., a college or university health center); or not-for-profit facilities with a concentration in either reproductive health or family planning are welcome.
It appears Planned Parenthood has implemented a takeover of the entire public sector supply chain and has, thus far, gone unchallenged. We must start challenging this arrangement.
We will continue our research, but you can get a copy of our report now on this Planned Parenthood – Afaxys connection and begin to ask questions of your elected officials at all levels of government. This apparent taxpayer rip-off needs to be stopped now.
Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and a radio talk show host. He has been actively fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.