Pharma

Here’s a first look at PhRMA’s new GOBOLDLY campaign

After a bruising 2016, the biopharmaceutical industry’s core lobbying group, PhRMA, has unveiled a multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign to counter its ‘murderous’ image.

man with moustaches giving a presentation in office.

After a bruising 2016, the biopharmaceutical industry’s core lobbying group, PhRMA, has unveiled a multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign to resurrect its “murderous” image.

Dubbed GOBOLDLY, the campaign puts the spotlight on the scientist working behind the scenes, not the CEO justifying high pharmaceutical prices.

According to Holly Campbell, PhRMA’s senior director of communications, “the industry is investing tens of millions each year,” for placements on national TV, print, digital, radio and out-of-home advertising.

The first video advertisement is now posted on YouTube (and embedded below) and the campaign website has gone live.

Instead of countering the groups and movements criticizing the industry, PhRMA wants to focus on the groundbreaking work its “unsung heroes” do.

“Thanks to the tireless work of biopharmaceutical researchers and scientists, we have entered a new era of medicine that is transforming the way we prevent and treat disease,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of PhRMA, in the group’s news release. “This campaign spotlights their perseverance and unwavering commitment to American patients for whom we all work.”

The first advertisement tells this story through a famous poem by Dylan Thomas, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night.’

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA–ZEJLoH8&w=560&h=315]
In an email forwarded by a representative, Campbell said the planning for GOBOLDLY had been underway for approximately six months. That means it was seeded in June or July of last year when debates about drug pricing, price hikes and gouging were in full swing.

By November, the biopharmaceutical industry was on the ballot, indirectly and directly.

In California, Proposition 61 sought to cap state spending on prescription pharmaceuticals. The ballot was widely supported early in the election season until PhRMA stepped in, reportedly dropping $106 million to convince Californians to vote ‘No.’

It became the most expensive ballot in U.S. history, driven by a fear that the legislation could domino throughout other states. Prop 61 was just the first battle in a larger war and PhRMA reportedly upped its dues by $100 million to prepare for the post-election fallout.

The industry needs to do something. Will this campaign move the needle on public opinion? That remains to be seen.

Last week, PhRMA and the Berkeley Research Group also released a report on drug expenditures, addressing the recent outcry over sky-high drug list prices from a different angle.

Photo: eestingnef, GettyImages

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