Monday, September 14, 2009

Drug Makers to Back Baucus Plan With Ad Dollars

The drug industry’s trade group plans to roll out a series of television advertisements in coming weeks specifically to support Senator Max Baucus’s health care overhaul proposal, according to an industry official involved in the planning.

The move would be a follow-up to the deal that drug makers struck in June with Mr. Baucus and the White House. Under that pact, the industry agreed to various givebacks and discounts meant to reduce the nation’s pharmaceutical spending by $80 billion over 10 years.

Shortly after striking that agreement, the trade group — the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA — also set aside $150 million for advertising to support health care legislation.

Up to now, the trade group, led by former Representative Billy Tauzin, a Republican from Louisiana, has contributed $12 million toward an advertising campaign coordinated by a coalition called Americans for Stable Quality Care. Early advertisements focused on general subjects like “Eight Ways Reform Matters to You.”

But an industry official involved in the discussions said the group and its advertising money would now be aimed specifically at the approach being pushed by Mr. Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Read it all on the Prescriptions Blog at

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