PhRMA poised to fight Obama plans

Look out, Barack Obama. Big Pharma is preparing to launch its first blitz against your healthcare plans.

The country's biggest pharma lobbying group--PhRMA--is readying a major public relations campaign supporting "free market health care." The multimillion-dollar campaign includes national television advertising, scheduled to air for the first time next week. It's all designed to head off President-elect Obama's expected campaign for Medicare to negotiate prices for drugs used by its beneficiaries.

Lots of companies stand to lose if the new administration really does reform healthcare. But drugmakers may be closest to the line of fire. According to the Washington Times, pharma could see a $30 billion reduction in revenues if the government starts to negotiate drug prices as many other countries do.

PhRMA's push won't directly attack Obama's plans; with such a popular president-elect, such an attack could backfire. Instead, the association's ads will take a more oblique approach: "We're going to do an ad campaign designed to make people aware of the importance of preserving your free-market health care system," PhRMA's Ken Johnson told the Times. Coming soon to a TV screen near you.

- read the Washington Times article