Pharmaceutical manufacturers and their trade groups spent a record $155 million lobbying the federal government and its agencies from January 2005 to June 2006, according to a Center for Public Integrity report based on data obtained from the Senate Office of Public Records.
During that time, the drug industry heavily ? and successfully ? lobbied against Congress’ revisiting a provision in the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 that barred the federal government from negotiating on Medicare drug prices.
Also on the lobbying agenda were protection of lucrative drug patents and prevention of the importation of lower-priced Canadian drugs.
Since 1998, the top 20 drug companies, their subsidiaries and two industry trade groups have spent more than $650 million on lobbying. During this same time period, the industry?s top trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), spent $104 million on lobbying. In 2005, sales for the top companies represented more than a quarter trillion dollars of the U.S. prescription drug market.