Think Pharma Isn’t Worried About Drug Pricing Wars? A Legion Of Lobbyists And Spending Spikes Tell Different Story.
More than 450 lobbyists were deployed on behalf of the industry last year, and PhRMA broke its all-time annual lobbying record. In other pharmaceutical news: patient groups' deep ties to the industry and trade wars.
How Contentious Is Drug Pricing In Washington? Check The Receipts
Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and the 31 other major drug makers that belong to the trade group PhRMA together spent more than $120 million lobbying Congress in 2019, according to recently released federal disclosures. That helped pay for an army of over 450 lobbyists who helped the drug makers and their trade group vehemently oppose the sweeping proposals lawmakers and the Trump administration put forth in their efforts to lower prescription drug prices. PhRMA also broke its all-time annual lobbying record this year. It spent $28.9 million in 2019, surpassing its previous record of $27.5 million, set last year. (Florko, 1/23)
Big Business, Tech, Health Care Lead K Street Spending In 2019
Groups representing hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical concerns were also among the biggest spenders last year, as lawmakers debated prescription drug pricing and surprise medical billing measures. (Ackley, 1/22)
Patient Groups Have Deep Ties To Pharma But Fail To Disclose Backing
Amid ongoing debate over the role the pharmaceutical industry plays in shaping health policy, a new analysis finds that patient groups funded by drug makers generally support corporate interests, few groups have policies governing industry backing, and transparency is often lacking. A systematic review of 26 studies that examined patient advocacy groups found industry funding ranged from 20% to 83% of these organizations. Of those that received corporate backing, only 27% disclosed this information on their web sites. In addition, anywhere from 2% to 64% of the groups had policies concerning corporate sponsorship, according to the analysis, which was published in BMJ. (Silverman, 1/23)
Trump's Tirade Gives New Life To International Drug Pricing Plan
President Donald Trump has one big option to make good on his promise to slash drug prices: tie the cost of U.S. drugs to the lower prices paid overseas. There’s only one problem. It’s too late for him to make a dent in what people pay for their prescription drugs before the election. The president’s outburst last week at Health Secretary Alex Azar over not getting credit for tackling drug costs has left Azar scrambling to get the plan the administration first floated in 2018 finished in time for Trump’s State of the Union address. (Karlin-Smith and Cancryn, 1/23)