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WASHINGTON — PhRMA has already spent $21 million on lobbying this year — a sum that puts it on course to smash its previous annual lobbying records.

The group, which represents dozens of major drug makers, spent nearly $6 million on advocacy in the third quarter of this year, according to lobbying disclosures released Monday, about $400,000 more than it spent in the same period last year. After an unprecedented first half of 2018, that total puts it just $4 million shy of a new record annual spend —and it hasn’t spent less than $4 million in a quarter since 2015.


While President Trump’s May blueprint has reignited the debate over how to effectively lower drug prices, that wasn’t the issue most clearly on drug makers’ minds. Among the topics most cited in disclosures by lobbying firms working on PhRMA and its members’ behalf: the Medicare “donut hole.”

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