PhRMA’s Tally: $40 Million To Lobby On Health Care
NPR reports on one of the most powerful players in health care: the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA. In addition to spending $40 million, PhRMA alone has 29 people lobbying for it and has "hired 45 different Washington, D.C., lobbying firms to represent it in those three months of the second quarter."
NPR reports: "It represents just 32 brand-name drug companies, but it has so much influence that when Congress passes a bill, PhRMA almost always gets its way."
"Any firm that spends significant money lobbying Congress has to file a quarterly report. Monday was the deadline for the second quarter, providing a chance to peer into three critical months in the health care debate: April, May and June. That's when Congress really got down to business with health care. In those three months, PhRMA spent just over $6 million, which breaks down to about $2 million a month. But the reports filed by the companies that belong to PhRMA reveal that during this same period, all but a few of them were running their own lobby shops as well."
PhRMA has been advertising and its CEO has been emphasizing the group's support for reform. NPR notes that if you want to see how PhRMA is influencing the debate, look at what issues have been removed from the table, such as drug re-importation from Canada. "This is not to pass judgment on the merits of PhRMA's arguments, but rather to show just how much money and lobbying it uses to back them up - and the winning streak in Congress that follows" (Seabrook and Overby, 7/23).