Pharma money on display for Dems

Big Pharma has ponied up big bucks to help finance the Democratic National Convention--and the companies have sent their CEOs to Denver to put their mouths where their money is.

The list of health-oriented sponsors reads like a roll call of drugmakers: Merck, Amgen, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Mylan, Abbott and Eli Lilly. Five of those companies--Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Lilly, Amgen and Merck--have put CEO power behind their cash. AstraZeneca and Lilly dispatched their CEOs--David Brennan (photo) and John Lechleiter (photo), respectively--to receptions and luncheons the companies sponsored. Pfizer's Jeff Kindler (photo) and Amgen's Kevin Sharer (photo) participated in a health roundtable. And at a PhRMA-sponsored brunch, Merck CEO Richard Clark (photo) and AstraZeneca's Brennan mingled with the invitation-only crowd.

And tonight, when Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination, Pfizer folks will be on hand in coveted skybox seats reserved for those donors who've given more than $1 million. Let's see who turns up for John McCain's Republican star turn next week.

- read the WSJ Health Blog post
- see the FDA Legislative Watch piece
- get the skybox article from the Dallas Morning News