Drug Industry Mounts Ad Blitz to Block Price Controls

The pharmaceutical industry is financing a "last-minute, pre-election advertising blitz" in an effort to help Republicans win control of Congress, according to an article in the November 4 edition of the Wall Street Journal. At least $16 million has been spent on the advertising campaign, which is being led by the United Seniors Association, a group with ties to drug companies and the drug industry trade association.

The ads call for "market-based solutions" to reduce drug costs and create a Medicare prescription drug benefit. Democrats back a plan that would be administered by Medicare, while Republicans prefer a plan that would be administered by insurance companies. The pharmaceutical industry fears that the Democratic proposal would open the door to price controls like those that keep prescription prices lower for Canadian consumers.

If Republicans successfully retain control of the House and win a majority in the Senate, the drug industry advertising could have a "broad impact" on health care policy, the Journal reports.

For a Philadelphia Inquirer article on how the drug industry's blitz is affecting races in Pennsylvania, go to: https://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/4425525.htm