PhRMA plans expanded post-election ad blitz

Pharma's lobbying group is expanding its marketing for 2017, gearing up for a big post-election fight.

As a spokeswoman for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) told FiercePharmaMarketing, the organization will mount a bigger marketing effort for 2017 to push the group's message to a wider audience. And PhRMA will spend a "massive" amount of money on that effort, according to Politico, although the spokeswoman declined to confirm that to FiercePharmaMarketing.

Roll Call recently reported that PhRMA has already spent a near-record $11.7 million in lobbying this year.

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The 2017 campaign will remain centered around PhRMA’s “Hope to Cures” campaign that launched in 2014 highlighting patient and pharma scientists. Until now, the campaign until now has run mostly in Washington, DC, along with just a few select states.

"Patients like 5-year-old Rhys, who lives with Type 1 diabetes, and Jamie, who has a rare blood cancer, are a few of the stories featured in the (2016) campaign. Next year's campaign will just be amplifying our messages to a broader audience,” she said.

The increased spend is part of a larger overhaul at the lobbying group. PhRMA is facing the departure of its top Republican and Democratic representatives, but it's already recruited new hires to help with the anticipated political battle over drug prices. Both U.S. presidential candidates have slammed rising drug costs and have promised to pursue the issue if elected, and dubious drug manufacturer practices of pulling major price hikes on older drugs--seen in action by the likes of Turing and Valeant Pharmaceuticals ($VRX)--have further dinged Big Pharma's reputation.

Meanwhile, though, individual drugmakers have already been pitching in with their own ads to help with reputation repair. Efforts like Pfizer’s ($PFE) current “Before it Became a Medicine” campaign, for instance, show the drug development process from the perspective of the researchers.

- read the Politico article
- get more from Roll Call

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