Drugmakers may ramp up their push for an overhaul of the U.S. health care system by spending $100 million on ads starting as early as September, said a person familiar with the discussion.In other words, if the drug companies see at any time that the legislation coming out of Washington is not a sweetheart deal for the drugmakers, Big Pharma is prepared to scuttle the deal with more ad money than anyone. On the other hand, as long as the deal has plenty of goodies ($80 billion is chump change to these guys) they're happy to go along, because it means big fat subsidies.
The Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, the industry lobbying group, discussed funding the advertising campaign during a meeting last week in Washington, the person said. PhRMA senior vice president Ken Johnson said no decision has been reached on the group’s campaign strategy for when Congress reconvenes after the August recess.
PhRMA will be running television commercials in August, in states where pharmaceutical companies have operations, asserting the importance of the drug industry for the economy, Johnson said. The drugmakers, by offering to lower drugs costs by $80 billion over 10 years, became one of the first industries to reach an agreement with the Obama administration in its efforts to revamp the health-care system. The drugmakers said they would oppose legislation allowing the government to negotiate prices on medicines sold through the U.S. drug program of Medicare.
“We are always preparing to fight back against bad public policy that would hurt patients and our ability to discover and develop new life saving medicines,” Johnson said July 24 in a telephone interview.
Obama's cutting deal after deal with the industry groups. They want their cut on the back end, billions up front now, a whole lot more later... and they're going to get it...trillions over the next several years. The $100 million ad buy is firelighter money, not to mention a marker that Congress behaves itself. The real problem here is the insurance industry. They will fight a public option until the end of time.
We'll see where this lands. All sides are gearing up for the real fight now.