BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More
Pharmaceutical companies are donating large amounts of campaign cash to U.S. senators to fight legislation targeting high prescription drug costs. One aggressive proposal that could get a vote in Congress this year would cap Medicare drug prices so they do not outpace inflation.
Political action committees representing drug companies have responded by giving $845,000 to 30 senators in the first six months of this year, according to Kaiser Health News.
The number of contributions show that the industry is trying to build loyalty among senators who will be running in the 2020 elections.
“We support candidates from both political parties who support innovation and patient access to medicines,” PhRMA spokeswoman Holly Campbell told KHN.
Prescription drug prices remain far higher in the United States than other wealthy countries, and the issue is a top concern for Americans. Bipartisan majorities in the U.S. House and Senate favor policies to control drug costs, so Big Pharma is donating to both Democrats and Republicans who they believe can hold the line on any new cost controls.
The biggest single beneficiaries so far are Democrat Sen. Chris Coons from Delaware and Republican Sen. Thom Tillis from North Carolina. They took in $103,000 and $102,000 respectively in the first six months of the year. Have you been affected by rising Rx prices? Share your story with Voices for Affordable Health.