GSK tackles US critics of ‘high-cost’ drugs

NORTH CAROLINA: Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline has launched a media relations push in the US to counter criticism about the high cost of its brand-name drugs.

The initiative is being led by a reputation committee, established in April, and not the PR department. Vice-president of external advocacy Michael Pucci said GSK would ‘take on our critics, and stand up and have it out’.

GSK will bid to better explain that its profits help fund vital research. Other drugs giants have also taken steps to address criticism surrounding the cost of drugs.

Pfizer has recently unveiled an initiative offering drug-price discounts to uninsured Americans. Pucci said GSK wanted to better highlight its policy of providing free drugs to poor Americans.

‘Pfizer has been doing a better job of taking that message to the public,’ he acknowledged.

‘We’ve got to demonstrate that we care,’ he added.

The PR campaign is to reinforce the messages of a GSK advertising campaign that kicked off in March.

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