Drugmakers Head Back To The Sun

IT'S BACK TO FUN IN THE sun for drugmakers. Last year, with the Clinton White House talking about cracking down on drug price hikes, the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PHRMA) abandoned such tony resorts as Boca Raton, Fla., and Scottsdale, Ariz., to hold its annual meeting in Washington. They wanted to project a more business-like image while in the thick of the health-care-reform debate.

Well, friendly Republicans rule Congress now, and health-care reform is dead. So PHRMA has New York's Plaza Hotel slated for '96 and a return to Boca in '97. Washington didn't save the group money. And this year's capital confab drew only 175 paying people, where some 300 might come to Florida. "Much as I love D.C.," says PHRMA President Gerald Mossinghoff, "it's not Boca in the early spring."

A sign of the new mood: At the recent meeting, a SmithKline Beecham executive got big laughs during his slide presentation by showing a shredded picture of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.