Way back in 2006 I reported what I thought was a violation of PhRMA’s DTC Advertising Guidelines to its Office of Accountability. I received a response TWO months later from a certain “Emily M. Johnson.” It was such an unprofessional communication that I complained about it my Pharma Marketing listserv. A reader thought Emily was a “lowly, hassled intern” and she should not be blamed for the poor response. That was enough for me to invent “PhRMA Intern” (see “Adventures of PhRMA Intern!“, a CLASSIC Pharma Marketing Blog post).

I imagined that PhRMA Intern was a recent graduate of an Ivy League school and might even be related to Ken Johnson, PhRMA VP of Communications.

I thought that I would never learn the TRUE identity of PhRMA Intern. Just now, however, I received this anonymous comment to another blog post:

“You peaked my curiosity about Emily Johnson. According to LinkedIn, she graduated from college in 2001, grad school in 2003, and then immediately became Director of PhRMA (no joke):


“After 5 years at PhRMA, she became a Senior Associate at a PR firm. Quite a step down from Director of PhRMA.”

Emily graduated Rutgers University in 2001 and received an MPP at Georgetown University in 2003. All during that time she was a “Director” at PhRMA. Wow, PhRMA is really liberal with its job titles! Imagine an intern still a freshman in college with the title “Director”! But why didn’t she include this title in her letter to me?