Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is an industry trade group representing the pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies in the United States. PhRMA's mission is advocacy for public policies that encourage the discovery of new medicines for patients by pharmaceutical and biotechnology research companies. It is one of the largest and most influential lobbying organizations in Washington, D.C.
On its website, PhRMA states its "mission is winning advocacy for public policies that encourage the discovery of life-saving and life-enhancing new medicines for patients by pharmaceutical / biotechnology research companies.
"To accomplish this mission, PhRMA is dedicated to achieving in Washington, D.C., the states and the world:"
- "Broad patient access to safe and effective medicines through a free market, without price controls,
- "Strong intellectual property incentives, and
- "Transparent, efficient, regulation and a free flow of information to patients."
PhRMA's CEO is Billy Tauzin.
- In 2006, PhRMA members invested an estimated $43 billion in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $55.2 billion in 2006.
- PhRMA's mission is to conduct effective advocacy for public policies that encourage discovery of important new medicines for patients by pharmaceutical/biotechnology research companies.
- Representing 50 biotech companies, PhRMA has twenty registered lobbyists on staff and has contracted with dozens of lobby and public relations firms — including Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, DCI Group, The Dutko Group, Edelman and Bonner & Associates — to promote its members' interests.
- In June 2004, PhRMA teamed up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Psychiatric Association "to demonstrate the cost of depression in the workplace and to show employers that treating affected workers would improve the bottom line." The three groups endorsed a "depression calculator," which allows employers to estimate the effect of untreated depression on their company's profits, through absenteeism and low productivity. The calculator also figures "how much the business would save if employees were treated." The Arizona-based "health-care consulting firm" The HSM Group organized the calculator's public "introduction." At the press conference unveiling the calculator, PhRMA's senior vice president for policy, research and strategic planning, Richard Smith, said: "A depressed employee is less productive or absent for 30 to 50 days a year. ... The person's medical costs are $2,000 to $3,000 more than other employees."
Medicare Prescription Drug Act of 2003
On January 25, 2006, Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer and Ranking Minority Member Henry A. Waxman asked J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives at that time, for a congressional investigation into the role played by the Alexander Strategy Group, a lobbying firm closely linked to Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, in the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug Act which was passed on December 8, 2003.
With the indictments of DeLay and Abramoff, new questions arose about the role of the Alexander Strategy Group in the passing of the bill. Lobby disclosure forms showed that the largest single client of the Alexander Strategy Group was the pharmaceutical industry, which paid the small firm over $2.5 million, including nearly $1 million in 2003, when the prescription drug law was being written.
The lobby disclosure forms revealed that the primary clients represented were PhRMA and Eli Lilly during consideration of the Medicare Prescription Drug Act. The person representing PhRMA and Lilly was Tony Rudy, the former deputy chief of staff for Mr. DeLay. Rudy also worked for Mr. Abramoff from 2001 to 2002. On January 9, 2006, the Alexander Strategy Group announced that it would shut its lobbying operations.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Eli Lilly, Robert A. Armitage, is the past chair of the Patent Committee of PhRMA. Eli Lilly President and CEO Sidney Taurel is a past president of the PhRMA.
PhRMA lobbying activities have extended outside of the United States. "America's big drug companies are intensifying their lobbying efforts to 'change the Canadian health-care system' and eliminate subsidized prescription drug prices enjoyed by Canadians," CanWest News Service reported on June 9, 2003. "A prescription drug industry spokesman in Washington confirmed to CanWest News Service that information contained in confidential industry documents is accurate and that $1 million US is being added to the already heavily funded drug lobby against the Canadian system." PhRMA was the leading drug industry trade group behind the increased lobbying and PR campaign. PhRMA was also independently spending $450,000 to target the booming Canadian internet pharmacy industry, which has been providing Americans with prescription drugs at lower prices than in the United States.
Some prominent members of PhRMA include the following. A full list of members is available at the PhRMA website.
- Astra Zeneca
- Boehringer Ingelheim
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Eli Lilly and Company
- Hoffmann-La Roche
- Procter & Gamble
- European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA, USA)
- International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA)
- International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH)
- Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA)
- Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme
- Secure Access for Everyone (SAFE)
- Sicko (film)
- "Mission Statement". PhRMA. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
- "Productivity Impact Model: Calculating the Impact of Depression in the Workplace and the Benefits of Treatment". PhRMA. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- "Medicare Drug Bill Tied to Abramoff". Truthout.org. 2006-01-25. Retrieved 2007-06-12. Check date values in:
- PhRMA members
- Nicholas Confessore, "Meet the Press: How James Glassman reinvented journalism--as lobbying", Washington Monthly, December 2003.
- Judy Sarasohn, "Tauzin to Head Drug Trade Group", Washington Post, December 16, 2004.