WASHINGTON, D.C.—Mark Merritt, former chief strategist at the American Association of Health Plans, has joined the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in its strategic communications and public affairs division.
The pharmaceutical industry has emerged once again as a target of healthcare reform advocates. It took a hit in May when ABC’s Peter Jennings broadcast a news-special on drug prices titled “Bitter Medicine,” and PhRMA president Alan Holmer said the group needs to do a better job of getting out the message that its members are investing to develop new cures.
Merritt will be a senior vice president to head the division.
Meanwhile, AAHP has hired Dan Leonard, executive vice president of Biznews24, as senior vice president for strategic planning and public affairs. Leonard previously was chief of staff to Rep. Susan Molinari and worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee.