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WASHINGTON — Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and the 31 other major drug makers that belong to the trade group PhRMA together spent more than $120 million lobbying Congress in 2019, according to recently released federal disclosures.

That helped pay for an army of over 450 lobbyists who helped the drug makers and their trade group vehemently oppose the sweeping proposals lawmakers and the Trump administration put forth in their efforts to lower prescription drug prices.

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  • Not sure what the point of this article is other than, perhaps, another attempt to smear the drug industry? Floury language evocative of war and implications of illegal activity on the part of one of the more heavily R&D driven sectors in the country accomplishes what precisely? Lobbying is legal – teachers unions do it, doctors do it, farmers do it, pharmacists do it, hospitals, insurance companies, utilities do it – and yes branded pharma does it AS WELL as manufacturers of generics who have their own separate lobbyist group.

    Perhaps the industry, and those allied with it, understand better than most that price controls will have a tremendously negative impact on patients because they understand the business of drug development and distribution more than any other and therefore fight in their self interest, which is also in the interest of current and future patients they seek to help, to ensure medical advances continue to flow? Perhaps they understand that price controls, absent any meaningful structural reform in the delivery chain or regulatory process, will hurt far more than it will help? Perhaps they understand that government attempts to take over more of private industry, expanding on Medicare, Medicaid, ACA, etc., are a significant threat to all concerned?

    • No Jeff – you’re dead wrong. Stop spreading false information and check your facts first. AARP is a 501c organization – and a big lobbyist in their own right. United Healthcare markets plans endorsed by AARP.

    • Johanna, They are partners !!! I wouldn’t say anything I wasn’t sure about.
      Why wouldn’t AARP support their partner?
      AARP’s partner in selling Medigap insurance is the private insurer UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co., a division of UnitedHealth Group. … We should point out here that AARP gets royalties from Medigap plans and from Medicare Advantage plans. It partners with UnitedHealth on both plans.

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