The pharmaceutical industry’s main trade group spent more than $5.4 million lobbying Congress in the third quarter of 2008, according to a recent disclosure report. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobbied the federal government on legislation involving allowing generic versions of biologic drugs, reimportation of prescription drugs, and the budgets for the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services. Hopefully, some of this lobbying helped consumers.
The trade group has more than 30 members, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Novartis Corp., Pfizer Inc., Sanofi-Aventis SA, other drug makers and several biotech companies. In the July-September period, in addition to PhRMA lobbying Congress, it also lobbied the Departments of Commerce and Health and Human Services, the FDA, National Security Council, Congressional Budget Office, Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Trade Representative and National Economic Council. The report was filed in October with the House clerk’s office.
Former Louisiana Rep. Billy Tauzin, PhRMA’s president and chief executive, is one of the group’s registered lobbyists. You will remember that this fella, while in Congress, pushed legislation through that greatly benefited the drug companies and hurt consumers and taxpayers. His last bit of carrying water for the drug industry while in Congress was securing the passage of the Medicare bill in 2003. Afterwards, Tauzin resigned his seat in Congress and went to work full time with PhRMA as its executive director. Other PhRMA lobbyists have also worked in Congress in some capacity before becoming lobbyists. Some of the lobbying activities involved product liability issues and matters relating to Medicare and Medicaid.
Source: Associated Press
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