Coming into the home stretch, pharma spends big on lobbying

With health reform set for one of the biggest remakes in U.S. history, it's little wonder that health players are spending big bucks on lobbying Capitol Hill. But of all the moneyed healthcare interests making the rounds, it seems the pharmaceutical players were spreading the most love during April, May and June, according to reports filed with Congress.

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the health sector as a whole spent $127 million on lobbying during the first three months of 2009, more than any other industry interest.

And among that free-spending crowd, the leaders came from the pharma biz. The reports showed that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, whom we all know and love as PhRMA, spent $6.2 million on lobbying activities during the second quarter, bringing its total to $13.1 million for this year, followed by drugmaker Pfizer at $5.6 million for Q2, bringing its total to $11.7 million for this year.

Other top spenders for the second quarter included the American Medical Association, which spent $4 million, Eli Lilly and Co., at $3.6 million, the American Hospital Association, at $3.5 million, Amgen Inc., at $3.4 million, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, at $2.8 million.

To get more lobbying data:
- read this Associated Press piece

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