Last we left off in the story of the White House-PhRMA deal the White House had made new cost cutting proposals that would affect the pharmaceutical industry. PhRMA has since put out a press release that doesn’t really answer many questions about where they stand. This was before last week’s health care summit:
“We remain committed to health care reform done in a fair and smart way. We continue to believe that all Americans should have access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services.
“Throughout the health reform debate, America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies have supported proposals aimed at encouraging critically important medical research and innovation to improve the lives of patients and foster a successful life sciences sector, which supports millions of American jobs.
“We will be carefully reviewing the proposal and look forward to hearing the discussions at Thursday’s White House summit on health care reform.”
The Washington Post reports that their lobbyists are working to block the additional $10 billion in cost cutting proposed by the administration, while still remaining supportive of the Senate bill:
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the powerful drugmaker lobbying group, is holding back on ads for now but will continue to work closely with lawmakers and the White House on specific issues, one senior industry official said. PhRMA, which agreed to $80 billion in cuts in exchange for protection from other steps, has concerns about Obama’s proposal to add another $10 billion to that amount, the official said.
Of course, the major key is the cessation of advertising by the group. PhRMA just isn’t willing to put any more money on the line with so much ambiguity regarding the outcome.