Buffeted by bad press from recalls of dangerous drugs and public bitterness over high drug prices, the drug industry has decided to cure its ailing image by sponsoring its own TV talk show, hosted by Billy Tauzin, the former GOP congressman who now heads the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Its "Healthcare Campfire with Billy Tauzin" is "the latest -- and possibly boldest -- part of a multi-pronged effort to burnish the drug industry's battered public image," writes Jeffrey Young. "The episodes, broadcast as paid advertisements but billed as public affairs programs, borrow the format of talk shows such as NBC's 'Today.'" In addition to interviews, the show features reports by PhRMA staff on new medicines, which "look like a news story you would see at a local news station," according to PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson.
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