HHS’ announcement of the first 10 drugs selected for Medicare price negotiation touched off a deluge of social conversation on drug pricing reform from lawmakers, journalists, and other groups. For concerned drug makers, the list’s Aug. 29th release was a watershed moment for corporate reputation, especially for Janssen, BMS, and Amgen, whose drugs received the most mentions among key stakeholder groups. Using SIR’s proprietary Influencer Score* model, we have identified and measured the impact of the most notable voices from several groups, allowing the industry to prepare for any future reputational crises that stem from ongoing court battles over the price negotiation program.
IRA-related Influencer Score among the most active Federal Policymakers
SIR went beyond the obvious names (i.e., President Biden, Sen. Sanders, Rep. Porter, etc.) to identify and rank the most active lawmakers. Although these congresspeople are unlikely to target a drug maker individually, major IRA-related litigation developments are expected to increase their criticism of the industry in general.
Topical share of voice among journalists covering Medicare negotiation
These journalists’ topical SoV was above average, with 51% of Celine’s social posts during a four-week period (8/22-9/18) relating to price negotiation. Notably, Celine is most likely to post regularly on IRA-related litigation updates, even seemingly minor ones, as is demonstrated by her recent tweet history.
Excluding Federal Policymakers and Journalists, Influencers with the greatest number of incoming connections were KFF’s Larry Levitt, Vanderbilt’s Stacie Dusetzina, and P4AD’s David Mitchell. Notably, ~74% of Larry’s connections were from Journalists, suggesting that his cachet with some writers is likely to increase the impact of his commentary on the overall conversation. By comparison, ~33% of Stacie’s connections were from Journalists and ~13% of David’s. Regardless, a lack of interactions from Federal Policymakers muted their overall visibility, indicating that future posts on price negotiation are unlikely to see the significant visibility that a connection from a Federal Policymaker would generate.
Recently, substantial social conservation redeveloped on news that a federal judge denied an attempt by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to stop the implementation of the drug price negotiation program by Oct. 1. Although this is the first ruling from a federal court on the myriad of lawsuits challenging the program, the legal drama is far from over as the judge stopped short of dismissing the lawsuit altogether. Furthermore, Novo Nordisk became the latest pharma company to file suit against the Biden administration. For companies impacted by the list, social monitoring of the most notable voices from key stakeholder groups will separate signal from noise, allowing drug makers to concentrate on the Influencers who are most likely to impact the narrative.
*Influencer Score is a dynamic scoring methodology that accounts for all available social metrics for an influencer (followers, posts, engagement rate, etc.) and updates in real-time based on topic, peer-group comparison, and a specified time range.
**Connections include any incoming social media interactions (i.e., retweets, mentions, etc.) from pharma-relevant influencers.