Pharma industry spending on lobbying exploded in 2018

The trade group for the U.S.'s top drugmakers spent a record amount––$27.5 million––on lobbying efforts in 2018, according to Bloomberg.

The spending, which was disclosed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), was $1.4 million more than what was reported in 2009, when the Affordable Care Act was crafted. The association spent nearly $10 million during the first three months of 2018 to lobby Congress and the Trump administration—its biggest-ever quarter, Bloomberg reported. More than $6 million was spent on lobbying efforts in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The spending surge was a reaction to the potentially “most challenging year in decades” for the industry.

The lobbying disclosure comes at a time when rising drug prices have garnered negative attention from President Trump, lawmakers and consumers. For example, the cost of managing diabetes has increased significantly from 2012 to 2016, according to a recent report.

The Trump administration has ramped up efforts to lower drug prices, while House Democrats launched an investigation into rising prices.

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