Dems swayed by pharma lobbying push

Since the Democrats took over Congress, drugmakers have been scrambling to make nice with their former foes. They've been giving more money to more Democrats--more than they've donated to the blue side of the aisle, percentage-wise, since at least 1990. They've tied up traditionally Democratic lobbyists so that others on the opposite sides of their pet issues can't hire arm-twisting help from the same firms. They've sided with traditional adversaries to back expansion of the kids' health program--and by doing so have won brownie points to apply to other issues.

No wonder, then, that Democratic leaders haven't been able to pass either of their pet pharma industry measures: re-importing drugs from Canada and requiring pharma to negotiate prices with Medicare.

Indeed, as PhRMA President Billy Tauzin (photo) says, the Democratic takeover of Congress means "we just have more friends than we used to have. We're trying to find more." And a Republican senator who failed to beat the drug lobby on reimportation said, "They are an extremely powerful, effective lobby."

- read the article from the Washington Post