Science

Pharmaceutical Companies Start Media Campaign Amid Criticism

By Allan Alforte , Jan 24, 2017 02:17 AM EST
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Pharmaceutical Companies are getting flak for rising costs of medicines. The public and politicians, for the last couple of years, have been vocal about the biopharma industry and the rising costs of treatment drugs. PhRMA, a drug lobby group, has a new campaign which it launched called Go Boldly. It is a two pronged effort to tell the story of the drug industry and the story of researchers and scientists who are key players in drug development, according to PhRMA president and CEO Stephen Ubl.
One of the component of the campaign will center on national TV, digital, radio, print and out-of-home advertising. According to Ubl, advances in medicine will be highlighted that five years ago would have been considered as science fiction which includes precision medicine, genomics and immunotherapy. EVP Robert Zirkelbach explained that other components of the campaign involves public affairs activities meant to draw people into conversation about value and innovation and how healthcare system can be made to work better for the patients.
Zirkelbach went on to say that they are serious about moving to a value-driven healthcare system. He notes that the private sector can and should lead the move in that direction. According to him, there are regulatory barriers that make it hard to make new types of arrangement with taxpayers. The campaign will be an effort of at least four to five years. Ubl called this as the most comprehensive campaign that the lobby group has ever embarked upon.
Zirkelbach stated that the campaign effort will cost in the high tens of millions every year. The campaign however will not direct address the millions of dollars of drug price increase that had caused public outcry. Ubl states that PhRMA thinks that it needs to open an aperture and have broader discussion about policy solutions that would hasten the entry of generics into the market. The three big pharmaceutical companies that are the cause of the public outcry are Mylan the maker of EpiPen, Martin Shkreli’s Turing and Valeant according to a report by FiercePharma.
PhRMA also released a four-part regulatory and legislative agenda. According to the lobby group, this would be part of an extensive lobbying campaign which includes advocating for changes to the Food and Drug Administration and giving pharmaceutical companies the ability to coordinate with insurance companies when developing new treatment according to an article by Reuters.

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