The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represent the leading biopharmaceutical researchers and biotechnology companies in the US. PhRMA was formed in 1958 to represent America’s biopharmaceutical research companies and seek essential alignment between public policy and medical research to address patient needs.
PhRMA required assistance in identifying potential allies among civil society organisations in India, the goal being to work with local allies to improve the quality of healthcare in India and improve access to it. To be effective, the civil society organisations needed to be credible and influential in the eyes of policy makers and influencers: politicians, political activists, civil servants and influential journalists. This is especially relevant in India since health is currently not a political rallying point and there is a perceived absence of political costs and benefits associated with health.
PhRMA’s key goals in this project were to identify these allies, develop strategies to
engage with them and map the key stakeholders in the health arena. Another key
aim was to try to find a common ground with organisations that may not necessarily
agree completely with PhRMA, but could at least identify with some of the goals, for
example better access to quality healthcare for the common man.
Baird’s CMC developed a detailed discussion guide designed to elicit nuanced responses
from interviewees. Phase 1 involved Baird’s CMC conducting a series of interviews with
policy makers and influencers at the Central Government level in Delhi and in the
three target states. These policy makers and influencers helped identify different
kinds of civil society groups that might be interested in some kind of a partnership
This exercise yielded a universe of more than 100 organisations and 34 of these
were then interviewed about their perceptions in Phase 2. Each respondent was
asked to comment on a set of opinions and scenarios about reform. Finally, the
interviewees were asked about their own organisations and the possibility of working
together with PhRMA. This part of the interview yielded potential allies for future
initiatives as well as some ingenious ideas on what sort of initiatives would be best
suited to fulfil PhRMA’s ultimate project goal of better access to quality healthcare.