Large drug companies are some of the most profitable firms in the world, but while much of their R&D comes from universities and National Institutes of Health, they claim that their high prices and large profits are necessary to make up for the high cost of developing a drug. Big Pharma spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year in the political system. Pharmaceutical/Health Product companies spent $51 million during the 2012 US federal election, and $32 million during the 2014 elections. As of September 2015, Big Pharma had spent already $10 million during the 2016 US federal election. Republicans receive more injected funding from drug companies than do democrats, at a rate of 58% to 42%. Pfizer was the top spender during the 2014 elections, contributing $1.5 million to the federal campaign, followed by Amgen ($1.3M) and McKesson Corp. ($1.1M). Lobbying expenditures by the pharmaceutical industry increased steadily from 1998 to 2009 when spending peaked at $273 million. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has spent close to $150M on lobbying since 2008, outspending defense contractors and the oil and gas industry.
Author: Mike Ludwig, Truthout
“Pfizer ranks among the top 25 lobbying spenders in the nation, with $94 million spent since 2008 and $8.5 million spent in 2014 alone.”
“It turns out that the pharmaceutical industry did not become one for the most powerful interests on Capitol Hill with campaign contributions alone. For every $1 the industry spent on contributions during the last election cycle, $7 were spent on lobbying in 2014.”
“In the meantime, high drug prices will continue to help drug companies gather the financial resources necessary to ensure that lawmakers do not change their minds.”
Source: Ludwig, M. 2015. How Much of Big Pharma’s Massive Profits Are Used to Influence Politicians? Truthout.