In his harsh comments about the drug industry at a press conference earlier this month, President Trump declared that “pharma has a lot of lobbies and a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power.”
But how much, exactly? STAT analyzed lobbying disclosure filings updated this week to build an in-depth portrait of how the drug industry wielded its influence on the federal government in 2016.
All told, the industry’s two big trade groups spent a collective $29 million lobbying the federal government last year. And the top 15 pharma companies (by one measure) collectively spent an additional $80 million. Both figures are roughly consistent with 2015.
The big drug industry trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, spent $19.6 million lobbying the federal government in 2016, up 7 percent over 2015. PhRMA wouldn’t say which issues its lobbyists focused on over the year, nor would it say whether it lobbied for or against some of the issues listed on its disclosure forms. Among the many pieces of legislation the group lobbied on last year, these ones caught our eye: