WASHINGTON — Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) plans to deliver an address to a closed meeting of the drug industry’s powerful lobbying group on Thursday, a clear sign of the industry’s interest in courting the newly minted lawmaker.

Romney’s plans to speak at the upcoming board meeting of PhRMA — to be attended by CEOs from major drug makers like Merck, Pfizer (PFE), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) — were described to STAT by three drug lobbyists. He is scheduled to appear for 30 minutes.

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