The $168 million thrown at lobbyists amounted to a 32 percent jump over 2006, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity, which was based on data obtained from the Senate Office of Public Records. In all, the group says that drugmakers have spent more than $1 billion lobbying the federal government over the past decade. "As the biggest lobby on the Hill, the pharmaceutical industry wields tremendous influence that impacts everything from prescriptions to patents," Bill Buzenberg, the group's director, says in astatement. "The central point is that their massive spending has been highly successful, largely producing the political results the drug industry wants." The top issues lobbied in 2007 include blocking the importation of drugs, extending patents, obtaining greater access of US drugs in international free trade agreements, and preventing Congress from limiting DTC ads, according to the group. More than 90 percent of the spending was by 40 drugmakers and three trade groups — PhRMA, BIO and and the Advanced Medical Technology Association.
PhRMA led the drug industry trade groups in lobbying with close to $23 million spent in 2007, a 26 percent rise from 2006. Among drugmakers, Amgen led with $16.2 million, followed by Pfizer at $13.8 million. Other big spenders included Roche ($9 million), Sanofi-Aventis ($8.4 million), Glaxo ($8.2 million), and Johnson & Johnson Inc. ($7.7 million). The political shift in Congress from Republican to Democratic control helped drive the record lobbying spending in 2007, the group maintains. After the Democratic sweep of the House of Representatives, several long-standing industry critics of the industry assumed leadership roles of powerful committees that pushed for greater industry oversight conducting hearings on safety, pricing and generics.