Industry Tries to Sell Congress on Drugs

A $13.2 million ad campaign thanks 28 members of Congress, 25 of whom are Democrats, "for supporting a children's health-care bill vetoed twice by President George W. Bush in 2007." The ads are by America's Agenda: Health Care for Kids, a new non-profit group whose sole funder is the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). The ads are one example of the drug industry group's attempts to adjust to a Democratic-controlled Congress. PhRMA's also "working with unions through another America's Agenda group to push universal-health-care bills in states and cities across the country," and "is now splitting campaign contributions between the political parties." In addition, PhRMA's trying "to restore the drug industry's tattered image," through its own ads "touting programs to help needy patients pay for their medicines; hurricane hotlines for drug supplies; and the syndicated TV show 'Sharing Miracles,'" which features PhRMA president Billy Tauzin.