facebook Big Pharma boosts its lobby spending as policies to lower drug costs sputter

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Big Pharma boosts its lobby spending as policies to lower drug costs sputter

The president and a growing number of U.S. senators and representatives say they want to bring drug costs down. But the drug industry isn’t giving up easily.

Spending on lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry increased in the second quarter of this year, just as efforts in Washington, D.C., to lower prices appear to have stalled.

The trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent $6.2 million in the quarter ending June 30, which is a 12 percent increase from the same period in 2018.

Johnson & Johnson also spent $2.2 million in the second quarter, nearly 40 percent more than the same period last year. Eli Lilly & Co. spent $2.3 million, up from $1.5 million in 2018.

All three reported lobbying on drug-pricing legislation in their disclosures to Congress for this year, as reported by Bloomberg.

The Trump administration initially put pressure on Big Pharma after it made lowering prescription drug costs a priority. In May, the administration made it possible for private insurers that cover about 20 million Medicare beneficiaries to negotiate certain drug prices.

However, in July a judge threw out a new federal requirement for drug companies to include prices in their television ads. Several House and Senate bills targeting high drug costs are pending.

Do you think your representatives in Washington, D.C., will do anything about high drug costs? Tell us what you think and share your stories with Voices for Affordable Health.