PhRMA takes Let's Talk About Cost campaign to the public

PhRMA wants to clear the air about drug pricing with the consumer-focused extension of the Let's Talk About Cost campaign.

WASHINGTON: PhRMA has moved the conversation about drug pricing beyond Washington with a general consumer education version of the Let’s Talk About Cost campaign, which launched last year, focused on a DC audience.

The campaign includes an interactive website and online, radio, and print ads.

The paid media show statistics from PhRMA’s early 2017 research on drug pricing trends, such as the amount hospitals mark up medicine prices (500%) or how much the list price of a drug is rebated to payers and supply chain middlemen (one-third). Visitors to the website can also take a quiz about pricing or scroll through information about where the money goes on each step of the supply chain.

"A big focus for us was trying to figure out an interactive-type format for the website to make it more digestible," said Holly Campbell, deputy VP, public affairs, at PhRMA. "It can be a complex topic when it comes to spending on medicines and the supply chain, so we’re trying to make this information more understandable to consumers."

PhRMA did not work with an external agency on the effort.

This iteration of the campaign is targeting a general consumer audience, Campbell said, noting the policymaker-focused push has been running since July. The video ads, which mimic text or Snapchat messages among friends, will run on social media.

Its goal is to explain the complex pricing system to show that pharma companies don’t solely decide the final price patients pay for medicine in the wake of high-profile drug-pricing scandals in recent years, such as those involving Martin Shkreli and EpiPen.

"Let’s Talk About Cost helps tell the industry story of innovation, puts the cost of medicine in context, and highlights policy solutions we believe to be reforms to lowering out of pocket costs of patients," Campbell said. "The new launch is consumer facing, and the website provides consumers with easy to understand information about the cost and coverage of medication."

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