The Patients For Affordable Drugs Now (P4ADNow) is turning up the heat on a Democratic congressman over a proposed drug pricing bill. 

The advocacy group launched a series of TV ads this week that target Rep. Don Davis, (D-N.C.), over high drug costs.

Two ads single out Davis as the only Democrat in the House of Representatives to co-sponsor new legislation that would diminish Medicare’s negotiating power under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“Don Davis told us, ‘I’ll stand up to drug companies,’” one of the TV ads states. “But now he’s standing up for them. He’s the only Democrat in Congress to support a bill that would weaken Medicare’s power to negotiate lower drug prices. Tell Davis: Stand up for patients, not drug companies.”

The backstory behind the targeted ads goes back a few weeks.

Earlier this month, Reps. Greg Murphy, (R-N.C.), and Brett Guthrie, (R-KY), introduced a bill that would eliminate the IRA’s so-called “pill penalty,” and extend pharma companies’ ability to avoid Medicare negotiation for small-molecule drugs to 13 years, the same period for biologics.

Davis was the only Democrat to sign on to co-sponsor the bill, noting in a statement, that the federal government must support the development of “critical, life-sustaining medical treatments and cures. He added that “access to high-quality, innovative healthcare” must remain in reach for patients nationwide.

At the time, P4ADNow pushed back in a statement, calling Davis’ action a “betrayal of his promise to patients.”

The group pointed out that Davis received donations from various pharma companies’ political action committees last year, including Gilead Sciences, Genentech, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk, GSK and Bristol Myers Squibb, among others.

“Voters overwhelmingly support Medicare negotiation to lower prescription drug prices,” David Mitchell, founder of P4ADNow, said in a statement. “The voters in Davis’ district need to know that he reneged on his campaign promise to stand up to drug companies and is sponsoring legislation that, if enacted, would weaken Medicare’s ability to negotiate.”

The TV spots mark the latest development in an increasingly chippy battle over Medicare’s drug pricing negotiation abilities.

The IRA’s Medicare negotiation process officially kicked off at the start of February, when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) set its initial price offers for the first 10 drugs selected. 

After negotiating with drugmakers, CMS will publish the new “maximum fair price” later this year, with the new costs to go into effect in 2026.

The TV ad series launches as lawmakers and the public have been raising the heat on the pharma industry over high drug costs.Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), grilled the CEOs of Johnson & Johnson, Merck and BMS over high drug costs at a widely-anticipated Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee hearing.