Apr 21, 2022 - Health

Drug lobby taps Biden aide's brother

President Joe Biden speaks alongside Steve Ricchetti (right), counselor to the president, during a meeting with union and business leaders about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on July 22. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP Via Getty Images

Jeff Ricchetti, the brother of senior White House official Steve Ricchetti, has been lobbying for the drug industry's top trade group, records show.

Why it matters: Ricchetti has pledged not to lobby the West Wing, but his newly disclosed deal with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a top K Street spender, shows corporate America still sees significant value in his services.

  • Lobbying revenue for Ricchetti Inc., Jeff's firm, more than quadrupled over the past two years as it signed a number of blue-chip clients.
  • He's one of a number of Biden-connected lobbyists seeing huge growth under unified Democratic control in D.C., Politico reported on Wednesday.

The details: Ricchetti has been lobbying for PhRMA since Jan. 1, according to a disclosure filing with congressional ethics officials on Wednesday.

  • He's has been working on "issues related to pharmaceutical industry, generally."
  • The firm got $60,000 for that work in the first three months of the year, but didn't report contacting any federal agencies or members of Congress.
  • Its client roster includes a number of other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, disclosure records show.

Between the lines: Steve Ricchetti is a counselor to President Biden, and has been instrumental to the White House's legislative efforts.

  • Biden has renewed a push this year to let Medicare negotiate drug prices, a measure strongly opposed by the pharmaceutical industry.
  • The White House declined to comment.

What they're saying: "While we generally don’t comment on specific firms," a PhRMA spokesperson told Axios, "we work with a diverse group of advocacy partners to help promote policies that support innovation and affordable access to life-saving medicines.”

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