The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements, including Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Pfizer, among many more. CHPA members’ products provide millions of Americans with safe, effective, and affordable therapies to treat and prevent many common ailments and diseases.
In order to address methamphetamine abuse in certain parts of the country, legislators in several states frequently attempt to pass laws that would require a doctor’s prescription for popular, non-prescription medicines containing the decongestant pseudoephedrine (PSE). While 90 percent of America’s meth comes from Mexico, some policymakers argue that restricting the sale of these medicines will solve their state’s meth problem. However, these policies do not address methamphetamine abuse and lead to higher healthcare costs and other burdens for law-abiding citizens.
Since 2012, we have been engaged with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) to push back on state-level PSE prescription legislation – providing comprehensive public relations, advertising, grassroots and grasstops advocacy, rapid response and crisis communications. Serving as the campaign manager, we oversee all aspects of the strategy across each of the states – integrating the on-the-ground local public relations, grassroots and lobbying teams and the digital agency.
The grassroots and public relations teams execute state-specific plans focused on earned media, coalition recruitment, advertising, digital engagement and other grassroots tactics. Our field teams mobilize individuals and groups at the state and local level to build alliances, creating a groundswell of support to influence elected officials as needed. Within each state, we have given voice to hundreds of third-party groups, concerned parents, healthcare professionals, businesses and allergy sufferers who have spoken out against prescription-only legislation through a variety of mediums. These unique voices testify at critical hearings, submit op-eds, participate in town hall meetings, contact elected officials, take part in media interviews and activate social media networks. The success of the campaign is principally based on a robust network of individual state coalitions – who are able to be activated on- and offline.
Thanks to this comprehensive approach, in over seven years, not a single state has passed a prescription-requirement bill, while dozens of unfavorable bills were defeated and many favorable ones passed.