AARP, PhRMA launch campaigns on opposite sides of reimportation debate

The AARP has launched a $500,000 ad campaign in 14 states pushing for Senate action on legislation to let consumers buy US-made Rx drugs from Canada. The ads will appear in newspapers and on radio in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Anchorage,  and Des Moines, an AARP spokesman told MM&M. Print ads in the campaign were designed by GSD&M and the radio spots were created by Strauss Radio Strategies. The campaign will run this week initially with its future dependent on what happens in Congress, said AARP spokesman Steve Hahn. Currently a bill in congress, backed by AARP and written by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-ND., has bipartisan support from 31 co-sponsors. It would allow consumers to buy US-made prescription drugs from Canada and eventually from other countries, including Australia, Japan and nations within the European Union. Congress could decide to vote on the matter in coming days or table a decision until early 2007. Meanwhile, PhRMA has hired DC lobby firm Qorvis Associates to execute a two-year, multimillion-dollar lobbying and public affairs campaign to encourage enrollment in the Medicare prescription drug benefit and discourage drug reimportation, according to the National Journal, which reported that the firm is hiring for five positions to service the account. 

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