What is the "job of the future?" Find out in the next edition of Axios AM.

Stories

Pharma shatters lobbying records

President Trump meets Phrma reps
President Trump meets with representatives from PhRMA. Photo: Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images

The pharmaceutical industry's 2 leading trade groups both set records for lobbying spending in 2018 — a sign of just how much the industry believes is on the line in the political battle over drug prices.

By the numbers: PhRMA, the industry's largest trade organization, spent $27.5 million on lobbying last year, per Bloomberg. That's the most it has ever spent in 1 year. A full $10 million of that came in the first quarter — the most PhRMA has ever spent in a single quarter.

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization, meanwhile, spent just shy of $10 million, according to STAT — also a record.

  • Those totals don't include the millions individual drug companies spent on their own lobbyists. They also don't include the industry's campaign contributions, which topped $17 million in the 2018 cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Between the lines: PhRMA set its previous lobbying record during the debate over the Affordable Care Act, trying to stop a fully Democratic government from taking a bite out of its bottom line.

  • It's remarkable that PhRMA would break that record in a year where Republicans — the industry's allies — controlled the House, Senate and White House.