Drugmakers' lobbying spending at 10-year high as Washington targets soaring prices - (MarketWatch via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Lobbying by drugmakers in the US has approached a 10-year high as lawmakers seek to reign in rising drug prices, MarketWatch reported Thursday.

  • The news comes as the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and seven drugmakers, namely AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Pfizer and Sanofi, were questioned in Senate committee hearings in February.

  • In total, PhRMA spent $9.9 million in lobbying in the first quarter, with OpenSecrets.org saying the figure totals $10 million when spending by the group's subsidiaries is added.

  • Meanwhile, the seven companies spent more than $15 million on lobbying, including $4.2 million for Pfizer, $2.8 million for Merck and $2.7 million for AbbVie.

  • "There's just such an increase in activity from lawmakers that it's really not surprising to see an increase in lobbying activity as well," commented Lindsay Bealor Greenleaf, director of policy at ADVI Health.

  • The news comes after the administration of US President Donald Trump said the president plans to soon meet with Democratic lawmakers to discuss prescription drug pricing.

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