The association has appointed Citigate Dewe Rogerson on an initial one-year media relations contract understood to be worth around £100,000.
CDR pitched against Good Relations Healthcare and Kinross & Render.
The association’s secretariat continues to be run by CDR sister agency Citigate Public Affairs, which also continues to handle lobbying. CDR has been called in to boost the profile of generics – copies of original branded medicines – among patients, journalists and politicians, according to CPA chairman and CEO Warwick Smith.
CDR will help promote ‘what a generic is and the benefits they bring in respect of cost reductions to the NHS’, he added.
Smith said generic drugs firms supply around 56 per cent of NHS products, but that these make up just 15 per cent of the drugs bill.
The BGMA ‘wants to be known’ among patients and decision makers ‘from Primary Care Trusts to the Secretary of State’, added Smith.
Seven generic manufacturers have been accused of anti-competitive practices by the NHS’s counter-fraud service. The accused firms have keenly contested allegations that they colluded to fix prices of common antibiotics and other drugs in 1997 and 1998.