PhRMA, the drug industry’s big trade group, spent nearly $10 million lobbying the federal government in the first three months of this year — its most on record for a single quarter.
The trade group’s spending has risen annually since 2014 — a sign of just how powerful a player the drug industry has become in Washington. In 1999 and 2000, it spent less each year on lobbying than it did over the past quarter.
PhRMA has been building up a war chest to counter the threat of legislative action on drug pricing. In late 2016, it raised its annual dues by 50 percent, in an effort to raise an additional $100 million annually from the drug makers it represents.