Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Drugs industry image campaign
The pharmaceutical industry is launching a campaign in an attempt to overcome its negative image. Several setbacks in drug safety this year have weakened consumer confidence in the drug industry, but now Billy Tauzin, the new head of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), is promising “some pretty big changes” in the way it goes about its business.

He promised to change the tone of the industry’s controversial direct-to-consumer advertisements and to highlight the need to address the nation’s uninsured problem. He also indicated that PhRMA will work more cooperatively with the media, saying that the group would shake its reputation for “no-comments.”

Tauzin said PhRMA is committed to the truth — “the good, the bad and the ugly.”

The industry needs to anticipate potential problems and be more open about early signs of trouble, but there are limits to how much can be understood about any drug before it reaches the market, Tauzin said.“Every medicine has side effects.

Americans have to come to understand that, and they don’t,” Tauzin said. “We all have a job to do as patients … to learn about and to understand the drugs we take.”
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