President Donald Trump is counting on Big Pharma’s bad reputation to score him points against Joe Biden. The president presses the point in new Facebook ads casting the former Vice President as Big Pharma’s favorite.
A blitz of different Facebook promos claim “Big Pharma liked it better with Joe Biden when healthcare costs were skyrocketing.” The attack ads, first noted by Stat, began yesterday, according to Facebook Ad Library data.
Another version of the Facebook post adds: “That’s why Big Pharma is attacking President Trump.” More than 19 different versions of the ad paid for by Donald J. Trump for President Inc. began running Monday.
Some of the Facebook ads use an image from a TV commercial paid for by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which lobbies for pharmacy benefit managers, not Big Pharma. That same ad, featuring seniors questioning Medicare premium increases under Trump, previously caused the president to complain about pharma on Twitter.
And while political ads are banned on Twitter, Trump has used similar narratives about Biden and Big Pharma in his tweets. On Aug. 4, he continued his earlier rant about pharma advertising against him adding, “Don’t fall for their false ads. Biden plan is for very big increases.”
Whether the tactic tying Biden to pharma companies works remains to be seen. However, the industry may not be as prime a target as it once was. Pharma's response to the COVID-19 pandemic—with vaccine, treatment and testing development—has goosed its image.
The Harris Poll reports consumer perception of pharma is up—around 40% of people polled say they feel more positive about the industry. That percentage has held steady in periodic Harris polling since March.