Amid heavy criticism of drug prices, pharma group launches ad campaign to improve image

The pharmaceutical industry's major lobbying group has launched its largest-ever ad campaign designed to improve the industry's public image following heated criticism over rising drug prices and President Donald Trump's comments in a January press conference, in which he said the drug industry is "getting away with murder," according to The Washington Post.

The campaign, launched by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, doesn't actually mention the price of drugs, which have been the subject of multiple hearings before Congress, a leading topic of debate during the recent presidential election and a top healthcare concern for consumers. Instead, the first television ad lauds researchers for the role they play in the development of lifesaving drugs, science and for patients, according to the report.

Steve Ubl, president of PhRMA, said Monday at a press event that the pharmaceutical industry has not told the story of science behind its work well enough. The campaign, which includes print, online and TV ads, are intended to fill that gap and explain to consumers that drugmakers are in a "new era of medicine," according to the report. This new era is characterized by immunotherapies for cancer and personalized medicine and genomics to tailor therapies for individual patients' condition.

PhRMA said the campaign will cost tens of millions of dollars per year.

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