An investigation from transparency nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics has found that the pharmaceutical and health products industry is “consistently near the top” of sectors spending on federal campaign contributions.
Through its website OpenSecrets.org, the group seeks to track spending in US politics, relying on financial support from institutional grants, individual contributions and custom research.
Last year the industry spent a record-breaking total of $283 million on lobbying, including from the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which spent $27 million on behalf of its members.
The amount the industry has budgeted for lobbying efforts has been increasing in recent years, up from the $227 million it spent in 2013.
So far in 2019, the sector has spent over $150 million, with New York-based Pfizer at the top of the list, as in previous years.
The group says drugmakers have traditionally supported Republican candidates, and that the industry’s policy goals are “resisting government-run health care, ensuring a quicker approval process for drugs and products entering the market and strengthening intellectual property protection.”
2018 top spenders (excluding trade groups)
Pfizer – $11,450,000
Amgen – $10,960,000
Bayer – $8,640,000
Merck & Co – $6,800,000
Eli Lilly – $6,770,000
Johnson & Johnson – $6,660,000
Roche – $6,462,279
AbbVie – $6,100,000
Novartis – $5,950,000