Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
(PhRMA) is an industry trade group representing the pharmaceutical
research and biotechnology
companies in the United States
. PhRMA's mission is advocacy for public policies that encourage the discovery of new medicines for patients by pharmaceutical and biotechnology research companies. PhRMA's current CEO is former congressman Billy Tauzin
. PhRMA is one of the largest and most influential lobbying
organizations in Washington, D.C.
On its website, PhRMA states its "mission is winning advocacy for public policies that encourage the discovery of life-saving and life-enhancing new medicines for patients by pharmaceutical / biotechnology research companies. To accomplish this mission, PhRMA is dedicated to achieving in Washington, D.C., the states and the world:
- "Broad patient access to safe and effective medicines through a free market, without price controls,
- "Strong intellectual property incentives, and
- "Transparent, efficient, regulation and a free flow of information to patients."
- In 2006, PhRMA members invested an estimated $43 billion in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $55.2 billion in 2006.
- PhRMA's mission is to conduct effective advocacy for public policies that encourage discovery of important new medicines for patients by pharmaceutical/biotechnology research companies.
- Representing 50 biotech companies, PhRMA has twenty registered lobbyists on staff and has contracted with dozens of lobby and public relations firms — including Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, DCI Group, The Dutko Group, Edelman and Bonner & Associates — to promote its members' interests.
- In June 2004, PhRMA teamed up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Psychiatric Association "to demonstrate the cost of depression in the workplace and to show employers that treating affected workers would improve the bottom line." The three groups endorsed a "depression calculator," which allows employers to estimate the effect of untreated depression on their company's profits, through absenteeism and low productivity. The calculator also figures "how much the business would save if employees were treated. The Arizona-based "health-care consulting firm" The HSM Group organized the calculator's public "introduction." At the press conference unveiling the calculator, PhRMA's senior vice president for policy, research and strategic planning, Richard Smith, said: "A depressed employee is less productive or absent for 30 to 50 days a year. ... The person's medical costs are $2,000 to $3,000 more than other employees."
PhRMA lobbying activities have extended outside of the United States. "America's big drug companies are intensifying their lobbying efforts to 'change the Canadian health-care system' and eliminate subsidized prescription drug prices enjoyed by Canadians," CanWest News Service
reported on June 9, 2003. "A prescription drug industry spokesman in Washington confirmed to CanWest News Service that information contained in confidential industry documents is accurate and that $1 million US is being added to the already heavily funded drug lobby against the Canadian system." PhRMA was the leading drug industry trade group behind the increased lobbying and PR campaign. PhRMA was also independently spending $450,000 to target the booming Canadian internet pharmacy industry, which has been providing Americans with prescription drugs at lower prices than in the United States.
Some prominent members of PhRMA include the following. A full list of members is available at the PhRMA website.