STAT

The pharma industry spent $57 million lobbying last year. And that’s just the start of its spending

As the public and politicians railed against high drug prices, the pharma industry aggressively ramped up its spending on lobbying, campaign donations, and ads.
Stephen Ubl, CEO of the drug industry trade group, at a White House meeting with President Trump in January. Source: Ron Sachs/Getty Images

Facing bipartisan hostility over high drug prices in an election year, the pharma industry’s biggest trade group boosted revenue by nearly a fourth last year and spread the millions collected among hundreds of lobbyists, politicians and patient groups, new filings show.

It was the biggest surge for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, since the group took battle stations to advance its interests in 2009 during the run-up to the Affordable Care Act.

“Does that surprise you?” said Billy Tauzin, the former PhRMA CEO who ran the organization a decade ago as Obamacare loomed. Whenever Washington

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