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Drug Companies Drastically Increased Lobbying Funds in Last 3 Months

Drug companies made huge increases in their spending on lobbyists last quarter, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Its preliminary findings:
  • PhRMA spent $6.3 million in Q4 2009 and $26 million for the year, an increase of 30 percent.
  • Pfizer (PFE) spent $5.6 million in Q4 and $21.9 million for the year, up 80 percent.
  • Eli Lilly (LLY) spent, $2.2 million in Q4 and $11.2 million in total, up 10 percent.
With the healthcare reform bill stalled -- and possibly dead -- in Congress, companies might ask whether it was worth it. The industry has had something of a split personality when it comes to reform. Officially, companies supported the bill and pledged to give up $80 billion to help finance it. However, one condition they wanted was that there be no "public option" in the bill. They also heavily backed doomed Democrat Martha Coakley for Ted Kennedy's old seat, but at the same time companies such as Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) employed the lobbying firm that employed the founder of FreedomWorks, the group that sent rowdy protesters to disrupt town hall meetings on reform.

Assuming the Democrats fail to pull it out of the fire, $26 million seems to be a cheap price to maintain business as usual.