Drugmakers have scaled back their spending on lobbying, but they're still shoveling money into political campaigns. No surprise, given that it's election season. The difference is that pharma contributions appear to be swinging back toward Republicans after a brief-but-fruitful flirtation with Democrats.
Drugmakers and their lobbying organizations leaned Democratic starting with the 2008 elections. By 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports, pharma PACs were giving Republicans only 39 percent of the $6.4 million they channeled toward politicians. Through July of this year, however, Republicans surged back, with 49 percent of the industry's $4 million in PAC contributions.
Among the names named by the WSJ are Rep. Eric Cantor, a Republican congressman who chastised drugmakers for supporting President Obama's healthcare reform push. He's now among the top 10 recipients of pharma money, the paper reports. Another name: GlaxoSmithKline. According to the WSJ, the drugmaker allocated 63 percent of its contributions to Democrats last year, but this year, 53 percent went to Republicans. GSK says it's just evening things out over the two-year election cycle. Perhaps other drugmakers are doing the same?
- see the WSJ piece