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PMA 1994 ADS WOULD FOCUS ON "DISCOVERY"

Executive Summary

PMA 1994 ADS WOULD FOCUS ON "DISCOVERY" of new therapeutics according to proposals being prepared for the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association board, PMA President Gerald Mossinghoff told a health reporters breakfast Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C. Noting that the second year of PMA's nationwide print ad campaign is "winding down," Mossinghoff said that the association staff will present the board of directors in December "ideas which are still being formulated now for a continuation of [the campaign] either in print or maybe in TV form." For the first two years, the campaign has focused on the cost effectiveness of drugs. For 1994, "the planning is it will focus on discovery," Mossinghoff said. The ads are designed to "plant the major premise, and that is that we are the discoverers of new drugs. That is not widely known," he continued. Some PMA companies, such as Glaxo, have been independently sponsoring television and print ads that focus on industry research. As with the current campaign, Mossinghoff said, the new ads will "probably not directly tie into" the health reform debate. "You do have to be very careful of your message," he said. Mossinghoff's remarks came one day after the Health Insurance Association of America received a highly publicized rebuke from Hillary Rodham Clinton for its ads questioning elements of the Administration reform plan. The budget for the current print ad campaign is $7 mil., Mossinghoff said. "It looks like the request is shaping up for about the same amount" for 1994. Eisner & Associates of Baltimore is directing the campaign. The association is in the process of surveying 1,500 "opinion leaders" to estimate the effectiveness of the campaign. A survey after the first year of the ads showed no improvement in the industry image. However, Mossinghoff suggested wrily that taken in the context of attacks on the industry by President Clinton, "maybe that's [a sign of] a very successful ad." "When the board signed on to an advertising program," Mossinghoff added, "they knew it was a long haul situation...I believe that we have [a] general board philosophical buy-in to the fact that this is for the long haul." The advertising program has been funded by special assessments on members. Mossinghoff reported that PMA's "We Care" program, which signed up member companies to enlist shareholders, retirees and employees to lobby Congress, generated "almost 200,000 messages... to either district offices or congressional offices." The "message there was very straightforward: no government price controls on pharmaceuticals."
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