|Get ready, it is mid-term season! And healthcare is HUUUUGE this cycle. According to voters, healthcare (and its costs) is one of the most important issues cited as we head into elections. And it has not gone unnoticed by campaigns from both political parties. Politicians are 3x more likely to be asked about “healthcare costs” than other health-related issues. Voters say “unexpected healthcare bills” are among their greatest worries.|
More than ONE MILLION ads have aired related to House and Senate races, and many of them focus on the candidates’ positions on prescription drug costs. If you don’t live in one of the more competitive districts, you may have missed these ads. So, to catch you up on what’s dominating the air waves please enjoy this week’s special edition of The Week That Was: At the Races…
►CANDIDATES "DROP [PHARMA $$$] LIKE ITS HOT"
Readers, if you’re not living in a highly contested district, you’ve missed out on some pointed advertising about the pharmaceutical industry. Healthcare ads are estimated to account for nearly half the content of ads by Democratic candidates and one-third of ads run by Republican House candidates, or their affiliated groups. In dozens of Congressional districts, candidates are being name checked for accepting campaign donations from pharmaceutical companies -- often with an attempt to connect the donations to unpopular legislative votes. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is running TV ads that discuss pharma money in districts as diverse as CA-45 in Orange County to ME-02 in Maine, the second most rural district in the nation.
No other industry’s campaign contributions are being used similarly. So, why is this happening? Well, it doesn’t help that pharma is the 2nd least-popular industry sector in America -- just ahead of the federal government. Wah wah.
And to prove to you we don’t take sides, click the below images to view attack ads on the right and the left that reference big pharma contributions.
Click images to see ads.
New polling from Politico and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that most Americans think that drug prices are too high and blame drug companies, even if individuals say their own costs are manageable. Additionally, polls find they have little faith that the President’s Blueprint to lower drug prices will turn things around. For example, just 37% of Americans believe POTUS’s plan will lower drug costs for Medicare patients. However, there are some proposals from the President’s plan that are heavily supported by the electorate:
Click images to see ads.
►WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN TO YOU?
Nearly 200,000 ads ran in House and Senate races during the first half of September, and prescription drugs were the third most-common topic among Senate ads. The sheer volume and the frequency with which prescription drug costs are mentioned will have a lasting impact on voter perceptions well into 2019. And these figures don’t include digital ad buys, direct mail pieces, candidate debates and earned media opportunities.
So, what’s a life-sciences company to do?
►ICYMI: THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES
Don’t worry, we kept track of this week’s other top news as well….