The pharmaceutical industry has spent more than $100 million on lobbying so far in 2022. According to OpenSecrets, the pharmaceutical industry has spent $101 million lobbying on behalf of 483 clients in 2022, fighting Democratic efforts to rein in prescription drug costs. That is double the amount of the next largest industry.
In addition, a new report by the House of Representatives targets 14 pharmaceutical companies for spending more on stock buybacks and dividends than they did on research and development over a five-year period. The 14 companies spent a combined $31 million in the first quarter of 2021 on lobbying.
The House report said numerous drug companies were spending a significant percentage of their research and development to suppress generic and biosimilar competition instead of on innovative research, while still raising the prices of their drugs.
According to an analysis released last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation drug companies raised prices faster than inflation for about half of all drugs covered by Medicare between July 2019 and July 2020. The median price increase was 5.6% for drugs covered by Medicare Part D and 5.4% for drugs covered by Part B, compared with a 1% inflation rate over the period.
According to the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, leading drug companies also reported massive profits in the fourth quarter of 2021.