A besieged drug industry launches major new ad campaign to woo lawmakers
- The Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is targeting lawmakers with a new multimillion-dollar ad campaign. Titled "From Hope to Cures," the campaign will be disseminated via social media platforms, in addition to print and radio advertising.
- PhRMA's campaign focuses on telling the positive side of the industry, including developing life-saving drugs, providing financial assistance to patients, and advancing the science of drug discovery.
- As calls for pricing reform have gained momentum, PhRMA has increased its lobbying expenditures. Last year, the industry group spent $18.4 million on federal lobbying.
As Martin Shkreli, the former CEO of Turing Pharma and the interim CEO of Valeant were dragged before Congress to testify on their drug-pricing strategies, PhRMA was busy shoring up its legislative communications efforts.
This ad campaign represents an increase in targeted spending and a ramped-up effort to communicate biopharma's role in developing treatments that both improve and extend life. Many in the industry feel this has been all but lost in the cacophonous debate over pricing by lawmakers and influential patient advocates, such as the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
While the overall strategy is focused on expanding positive publicity, at the end of the day, pharma is doing what it always does—bringing the conversation back to the patient.
Of course, those on the other side of this debate are focused on the patient too, specifically, those patients who can't afford their drugs. It's that conversation that has set the tone over the past year.
- Wall Street Journal Drug Industry Launches Ad Campaign Aimed at Lawmakers