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The big drug industry trade groups PhRMA and BIO are still on track to spend a record amount this year lobbying the federal government — even though neither took a position on the unsuccessful Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the summer’s most hotly contested pieces of legislation.

The two groups have collectively spent more than $26 million lobbying Congress and the executive branch in the first nine months of this year, the most since at least 2008, when organizations began to report their quarterly lobbying spending. By comparison, during the eight years of the Obama administration, the two trade groups collectively spent an average of $21 million on lobbying in the first nine months of the year.

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