Drug industry group spent $4.7M on lobbying in 2Q

AP News
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Posted: Sep 29, 2011 7:19 PM
Drug industry group spent $4.7M on lobbying in 2Q

The primary trade group for the pharmaceutical industry spent $4.7 million in the second quarter lobbying the federal government on prices that federal health programs pay for prescription medicines and on other issues including patents, drug shortages and reimportation of drugs, according to a quarterly disclosure report.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, lobbied on implementation of aspects of the 2010 health care overhaul, including prices and rebates for drugs bought through the Medicare program, strengthening Medicare anti-fraud measures and eliminating an independent payment advisory board meant to hold down Medicare spending.

The amount it spent in the second quarter is slightly more than the $4.65 million it spent a year earlier and the $4.54 million it spent in this year's first quarter.

The group lobbied on legislation that would bar marketing of authorized generic drugs, which allow makers of brand-name drugs to partner with a generic company to retain more revenue after their patents expire. The group lobbied on reforms concerning patent lawsuits and on other patent rules, and for the protection of intellectual property in foreign countries.

It also addressed bills to prevent abuse of prescription drugs, fight shortages of prescription medicines, provide incentives for drugmakers to develop new, sorely needed antibiotics, and allow reimportation of drugs from countries where they are cheaper. And it lobbied on product liability issues and fighting counterfeiting of drugs.

PhRMA also lobbied on the 2012 federal budget and 2011 appropriations for the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and other agencies and departments.

Besides Congress and the White House, the group lobbied the FDA, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Patent & Trademark Office, Health Resources & Services Administration, Internal Revenue Service, National Security Council, U.S. Trade Representative and the Departments of Commerce, State, Treasury and Health & Human Services, according to a disclosure report filed July 20 with the House clerk's office.

Among those registered to lobby on the trade group's behalf were Jennifer Romans, former health policy adviser to Sens. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.; and Cara Moon, a former legislative aide to three current or former House members: John Shadegg, R-Ariz.; Bobby Jindal, R-La., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.