December 17, 2017

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Just How Powerful Is Pharma?

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News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical drug pricing.

Stat: Arm-Twisting: How The Drug Industry Flexed Its Lobbying Muscle
In his harsh comments about the drug industry at a press conference earlier this month, President Trump declared that “pharma has a lot of lobbies and a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power.” But how much, exactly? STAT analyzed lobbying disclosure filings updated this week to build an in-depth portrait of how the drug industry wielded its influence on the federal government in 2016. (Robbins, 1/25)

Roll Call: Drug Industry Spending Jumped As Cures Crossed Finish Line
The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry lobbying giants ramped up their advocacy spending in the final three months of 2016, just as Congress was finalizing a new law aimed at speeding drug development and research. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America dropped $4.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from $3.8 in the same quarter in 2015, a CQ analysis of new lobbying filings shows. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization spent $2.3 million to influence policymakers over the same three months, up from $2.1 million the year before. (Mershon, 1/25)

The New York Times: The Fight Trump Faces Over Drug Prices
President Trump has made it clear that he thinks drug prices are too high and that the pharmaceutical industry, as he put it at a news conference this month, is “getting away with murder.” He joins a host of lawmakers and others who have excoriated drug makers in recent years for high-priced drugs that are out of the reach of many Americans. On Monday, Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s press secretary, reaffirmed that the issue would be a priority. (Thomas, 1/23)

The Wall Street Journal: Trump Administration Makes Drug And Medical-Device Companies Nervous
The pharmaceutical and medical-device industries are deeply unsettled about their future under Republican control in Washington, which presents threats as well as opportunities, according to industry officials and advisers. The companies and their trade groups want to develop ties with key players in the Trump administration on health care to push their agendas and protect their interests, according to people familiar with company efforts. Yet who those key players will be remains largely a mystery, the people said. (Rockoff, 1/24)

Stat: Should The Federal Government Seize Patents On A Pricey Biogen?
When Biogen received regulatory approval last month to sell the Spinraza rare disease drug, the company surprised Wall Street by setting a price that few expected — $750,000 for the

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