When Congress turns to healthcare, healthcare turns to lobbying--and pharma is no exception. During the first half of 2007, the healthcare industry spent $227 million on lobbying, an all-time high. Of the 10 groups that spent most, five were healthcare organizations. Three of those were pharma types: PhRMA (the industry trade group), Pfizer and Amgen. PhRMA spent $10.7 million, and Amgen shelled out $9.1 million.
Capitol Hill observers say the dollars probably were aimed at the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, which Congress is still in the throes of renewing. For its part, PhRMA said it spent lots of green to trumpet the "success of Medicare Part D." (That includes a new report that shows monthly drug costs for the previously uncovered fell 45 percent under Part D.) Plus, a number of seats in Congress changed hands, so there were lots of new palms to grease.
- see this article in Congressional Quarterly
- read the Wall Street Journal report