Pharmas, device firms spend $182M on lobbying

If you wonder why pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers seem to get a warm hearing on Capitol Hill, here's your answer. According to new research by a journalistic organization, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers, along with other health product makers, spent a combined $182 million on federal lobbying between January 2005 and June 2006. That paid for roughly 1,100 lobbyist salaries during the 18-month period. The leader in spending was drug industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which sunk more than $18 million into lobbying last year, part of the $104 million it has invested since 1998. Close behind were individual drug makers such as Pfizer, which spent $12 million from 2005 to mid-2006. Among the biggest lobbying initiatives has been efforts to prevent Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers on prices--efforts which have been successful to date.

To learn more about the data:
- read this Pharmalot entry