Healthcare: Edelman picks up PhRMA account

WASHINGTON: US drugs industry trade body PhRMA has hired Edelman in a consolidation of business previously handled by 14 firms.

Edelman will focus on state-level issues in all 50 states, seeking to boost the body's relations with health policy and consumer health reporters.

Issues the agency will work on include drug importation, Medicare prescription drug benefits, and explaining how medicines are developed and approved.

Other agencies that held discussions with PhRMA over the contract were Hill & Knowlton, Fleishman-Hillard and APCO Worldwide. The latter still works with PhRMA on its Partnership for Prescription Assistance programme.

Former congressman Billy Tauzin became PhRMA's president and CEO in January and has made improving the industry's image a priority. Drugs companies must 're-earn the trust and confidence of the public', Tauzin has been quoted as saying.

PhRMA comms SV-P Ken Johnson said the body did not have any other requests for proposals out for PR support. He added that it could seek a firm to 'do similar work on another front,' potentially at a national level.

The account will be managed out of Edelman's Washington DC office.

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