Individual generic drug companies, which include big names like Mylan and Teva, need to step up their game on Capitol Hill.

That was the recurring theme this week in New Orleans during the leading generic drug trade group’s latest meeting.

“The risks at the federal level as well as at the state level where the generic industry has historically been under-represented are real,” Chip Davis, head of the Association for Affordable Medicine, told drug company representatives Feb. 5. “Many of you don’t have Washington offices or lobbying operations. I understand that. There are costs associated with that kind of investment....