Tauzin on Roche/Genentech Leaving PhRMA: They Feel They Are Different

Hoffman-LaRoche has decided to end its relationship with PhRMA, the industry's largest and most influential lobbying group, in favor of BIO, the biotech industry organization. The move speaks volumes about not just Roche's plans for the future and how it wants to be seen and represented, but also about the ongoing shift of the industry's power base from big Pharma to biopharma. It's also an indication of the impending demise of the blockbuster era, as smaller, more targeted bio-based therapies play a larger role in companies' business models.

When Roche initially bought Genentech, many wondered whether Roche would damage the precious, innovative corporate culture that Genentech had a reputation for. Now it appears that it is Genentech that is exercising its influence.

"It's a Genentech decision not to join PhRMA,'' PhRMA's Billy Tauzin said. "They feel they are different.''

The article linked to above from the New Jersey Star-Ledger continues:

With its rich pipeline of powerful biologic medicines -- one of which was used to treat Tauzin's cancer -- Genentech has cache. The company is a heavy-weight, giving heft to the industry's lobbying efforts.

"They are hugely important,'' Tauzin said. Tauzin's group represents about 72 percent of the biotech industry, which focuses on medicines made of proteins and genes rather than the more conventional small molecule drugs.

Without Roche, PhRMA also loses critical revenue for carrying out its lobbying activities. Tauzin declined to say how much Roche contributed, though membership fees are based on a company's annual sales.

Will other big Pharma companies follow suit and join big Bio?



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