Global Pharma Marketing Leaders 2015 Summit
Global Pharma Marketing Leaders 2015 Summit | September 21-22, 2015 | Berlin, Germany

Monday, July 06, 2009

Will Pharma Lobbying Ensure Lynching of Public Insurance Option?

According to an article in the Washington Post, "The nation's largest insurers, hospitals and medical groups have hired more than 350 former government staff members and retired members of Congress in hopes of influencing their old bosses and colleagues, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosures and other records...

"Nearly half of the insiders previously worked for the key committees and lawmakers, including Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), debating whether to adopt a public insurance option opposed by major industry groups. At least 10 others have been members of Congress, such as former House majority leaders Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) and Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), both of whom represent a New Jersey pharmaceutical firm...

"The hirings are part of a record-breaking influence campaign by the health-care industry, which is spending more than $1.4 million a day on lobbying in the current fight, according to disclosure records. And even in a city where lobbying is a part of life, the scale of the effort has drawn attention. For example, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) doubled its spending to nearly $7 million in the first quarter of 2009, followed by Pfizer, with more than $6 million" (see "Familiar Players in Health Bill Lobbying").

I found data from www.opensource.org for the top 30 pharma lobbying clients in 2008 and plotted the data to create the following interesting chart (click on it for an enlarged view).

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