How Much of Big Pharma's $10 Million in Lobbying Was to Kill This Drug Discount Program?


The major pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. are still spending millions of dollars to try and beat a law that forces them to offer their drugs at lower, more affordable prices to rural areas that don’t have access to those very necessary drugs. They have been fighting rules and regulations for years, and they are spending a lot of money now to do so.

Over at Axios, they’ve been analyzing how much different, big influence operations in Washington D.C. spent on lobbying last quarter, and it turns out that in the healthcare sector, just one Big Pharma trade group spent almost $10 million. Incredibly, that was $2.3 million more than the next biggest-spending trade group, and a full $1.6 million more than the same Pharma group– PhRMA, in fact– spent in the first quarter of 2023.

Take a look at this graphic from Axios:

66cbeb33 7fbe 4dac 942e 7b2807053c58There are a couple of reasons you should care about this.

First: Big Pharma has put itself crossways with conservatives on basically every cultural issue since the outset of the pandemic. 

Second: As you can see right here on PhRMA’s own website, after pandemic preparedness (dubbed “ecosystem readiness” presumably for bipartisan-friendly branding purposes), PhRMA’s second-biggest lobbying priority remains killing off the 340B drug discount program, which disproportionately benefits rural, working-class Americans (read: conservatives) and which red states like Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia have been legislating to protect.

Pharmaceutical companies, who continue to boast multi-billion dollar profits, have been declaring they will not offer discounts on medications under handpicked circumstances since the summer of 2020. At the time, the move came just as these massive corporations increasingly have aligned themselves with progressives, all of whom have been vastly more supportive of policies like vaccine mandates and hormonal interventions that tend to benefit the companies’ bottom line.

Mandated Covid vaccines then and highly-encouraged hormone therapy for kids now. Big Pharma is very much on your side.

Plenty of Democrats have been working to further the pharmaceutical companies’ interests at the expense of Americans in rural, flyover areas of the country. They sit in boardrooms while a lot of Americans struggle to get badly-needed drugs.

Currently, yet another Senate “gang” is considering “reform” of that program. Specifically, the Gang of Six, which includes Republican Senators Thune, Moran, and Moore Capito (two of whose states have moved to protect 340B), but also Democratic Senators Baldwin and Cardin, the latter of whom just so happen to represent Big Pharma business hubs.

It’s probably worth bearing in mind that big lobbying figure, as well as Big Pharma’s geographic footprint and where states have moved to protect 340B, as we wait and see what this new Senate gang comes up. Unfortunately, in D.C., money does continue to talk a lot more than it should. And the Democrats are all too eager to badmouth major corporations while also doing the bidding of our largest pharmaceutical companies. Perhaps they should be more focused on the chaos within their own party, rather than working to screw over hardworking Americans.



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