The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) spent a total of $22,733,400 last year on Congressional lobbying activities, an increase of around 25% on 2006’s figure, according to disclosure forms posted with Congressional public records services and publicised by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
PhRMA spent more on lobbying last year than any other industry group, ahead of the US Chamber of Commerce, which was next with a spend of $21,160,000. Individual drugmakers making it into last year’s top 20 for spending on lobbying were Roche - $11,352,038; Amgen - $9,080,000; Sanofi-Aventis - $7,770,000; and Pfizer - $7,220,000.
PhRMA spent $12 million during the second half of 2007 alone, the Center also reports. The industry group has said that most of the big rise in spending last year was to fund efforts to get Congress to reauthorise the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. However, the group also lobbied successfully against other legislative proposals including: permitting imports of cheaper prescription medicines from Canada and elsewhere; moves to empower the federal government to negotiate prices with drugmakers for medicines supplied to Medicare enrollees; and restrictions on direct-to-consumer advertising contained within the Food and Drug Administration reform bill, which became law last September.
In total, the pharmaceutical and health care products industries spent $165,776,833 on lobbying activities last year, according to the records, which are filed with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House. Among the industry’s other big spenders were: AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals - $4,080,000 plus $280,000 from an affiliate; Abbott Laboratories, at $2,380,000 plus a further $280,000 spent by its Ross Products affiliate; Bayer Corp $3,868,550; the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) - $3,600,000; Boehringer Ingelheim - $4,285,164; Bristol-Myers Squibb -$2,840,000 plus $340,000 from its Convatec affiliate; Eli Lilly - $1,960,000; GlaxoSmithKline - $3,620,000; Johnson & Johnson - $3,820,000 plus $320,000 from an affiliate company; The Medicines Company - $2,510,000; Merck & Co - $2,300,000 plus $1,020,000 from Merck Serono; Novartis - $3,540,000 plus $465,000 from affiliates; Schering-Plough - $2,160,000; Teva -$2,140,000; and Wyeth $1,820,000 plus $520,000 from an affiliate.
Meantime, the industry’s contributions to candidates for this year’s US presidential election currently stand at $9,123,768, with 51% going to the Democrats and 49% to the Republicans, says the latest data from the Center.
Industry contributions for the whole of 2006’s Presidential election cycle totalled $19,598,807, of which 31% went to Democrats and 67% to the Republicans, it adds.
By Lynne Taylor