Pharmaceutical Industry Spends Record Millions On Lobbying

Amid pressure to lower drug prices, big pharma is spending big.

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The pharmaceutical industry lobbying group PhRMA spent about $27.5 million on lobbying activities in 2018, according to a CNN report.

This is the first time since 2009 that the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has spent a record amount on lobbying. In 2009 they spent $25 million to fight the Affordable Care Act.

PhRMA represents the majority of the nation’s largest drug and biopharmaceutical research companies including Sanofi, Pfizer, Merck, Gilead Sciences, and Johnson & Johnson.

Although PhRMA says they spent $27.5 million, according to Open Secrets, a nonpartisan, independent research group that tracks money in US politics, says the group actually spent close to $200 million.

“The three biggest spenders on the Open Secrets list were Pfizer, Amgen and Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a separate lobbying group for drug makers and smaller biotechnology companies. The large outlays follow moves within the White House that could limit pharmaceutical companies’ price increases and profits on medicines.” CNN reports.

PhRMA has been making headlines recently after a report was released by the Health Care Cost Institute that found that: “individuals with Type 1 diabetes spent, on average, $5,705 per person on insulin in 2016, an increase of $2,841 per person since 2012.”

Pharmaceutical companies have been under increased pressure to lower or limit the price of drugs, not only for insulin, but across the board.

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