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The Health 202: The Drug Industry Keeps Ramping up Its Spending on Lobbying

The pharmaceutical industry keeps turning up the dial on lobbying, setting massive new spending records in its intensive effort to influence Congress and the Biden administration.

Yet the administration isn’t capitulating to all of the industry’s demands.

To be fair, the White House did back away from including an industry-hated drug pricing proposal in its latest spending plan. Yet this week, President Biden angered drugmakers when he said he supports the waiving of intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines.

The industry increased its lobbying spending by 6.3 percent in the first quarter.

That’s compared to the first quarter of 2020. Drug and health product manufacturers, along with their national association, spent a combined $92 million to lobby the federal government from January through March, according to the website Open Secrets.

That puts the industry on track to break its spending record for the second year in a row. Not only that, but its first-quarter spending was more than double what was spent by the second-highest-spending industry, electronics companies.

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