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Drug Companies Spend Nearly $100 Million to Influence Congress
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Published: 16 years ago

Drug Companies Spend Nearly $100 Million to Influence Congress

Drug Companies Spend Nearly $100 Million to Influence Congress

The number of drug company lobbyists increased from 2001 to 2002, along with the amount spent on lobbying activities. In all, the drug industry spent close to $100 million--a record amount.

Drug companies are most interested in influencing issues related to prescription-drug benefits for Medicare recipients, generic drugs, and imported prescription drugs from Canada.

Published on 6/24/2003 in the Wall Street Journal
Drug Industry Sees Increase in Lobbying

by Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The drug industry hired 675 lobbyists from 138 firms and spent a record $91.4 million on lobbying activities last year, according to twin studies released by Public Citizen's Congress Watch.

The number of lobbyists increased 4% from 2001 while spending rose 12%, according to Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer-advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader. Public Citizen counted 26 former members of Congress among the drug-industry lobbyists, and 342 lobbyists with ties to the federal government.

Jeff Trewhitt, a spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main trade group for the drug industry, said the group hadn't seen the report and had no immediate comment.

Since 1997, the industry has spent a total of $650 million lobbying Congress, with $478 million spent on direct efforts and $172 million on federal campaigns, TV ads, hiring academics, funding nonprofits and other activities, Public Citizen said.

The drug industry's biggest issues are shaping the inclusion of a prescription-drug benefit for Medicare recipients, keeping generic brands from hitting the market earlier, and barring drug imports from Canada.

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