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Democrats occupying important leadership positions have invested millions in the pharmaceutical industry



This story comes from the Kaiser Health News.

Three of the legislators who will run the house next year as Congress pushes up drug costs are among the biggest recipients of campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, a new KHN analysis shows

Wednesday House Democrats elected Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland as the next Majority Leader and James Clyburn of South Carolina as Majority Whip, making them the most powerful Democrats # 2 and # 3 The party regains control of the house in January.

Both legislators have received more than $ 1

million from political action committees of pharmaceutical companies over the last decade. Only four members of the congress hold this award, including Republican Kevin McCarthy of California, whom Republicans voted as the next minority leaders earlier this month.

Democrat Nancy Pelosi, Californian Democrat, awaits next speaker According to the KHN database, the three-month House Democratic leadership team has raised more than $ 2.3 million in campaign contributions from drug makers since the 2007/08 election cycle.

High drug costs emerged as an important campaign in 2018. Almost half Americans said they were concerned about the cost of prescription drugs last summer, many Democrats told voters that they would tackle the problem at the next Congress. The large sum of money that goes to important Democrats and Republicans, however, raises the question of whether the Congress will take over the pharmaceutical industry.

Over the last decade, members of the Congress have received approximately $ 81 million from 68 pharmaceutical PACs from employees of companies that manufacture drug and industrial corporations.

Brendan Fischer, who directs federal reform programs at the impartial Campaign Legal Center, said drug makers, like other wealthy industries, "throw money into congressional leaders" who discuss the bill could have an impact on the pharmaceutical industry.

"Both Democrats and Republicans have been discussing measures against prescription drugs, and pharmaceutical companies are likely to expect large contributions to help them gain access and influence over powerful legislators," he said. McCarthy, who maintains close ties with President Donald Trump, has received more than $ 1.08 million from drugmaker PACs since 2007. Accord According to the latest data, which last until September, he received about $ 250,000 in this election cycle.

The fourth legislature to seek a million dollars is Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican working on both the Senate Committee on Health and Education, Labor and Pensions, and the Senate Finance Committee. There are also a number of research universities and headquarters of pharmaceuticals in North Carolina.

While election campaign contributions may seem like a predictor, industries do not necessarily buy votes with their money. More likely is the purchase of an access – a sizeable donation from a drug maker's PAC can increase the chances that its lobbyists will meet, for example, with an influential lawmaker.

Clyburn, who like Hoyer has been the Democrat leader since 2007, has received more drug maker PACs than any other member of Congress in the past decade – more than $ 1.09 million. During the election cycle of 2018, he received at least $ 170,000, even though he had beaten his Republican opponent in his safe Democratic quarter.

As party leader and high-ranking African American in Congress, Clyburn had connections to the pharmaceutical industry for years. In 2013, he was an outstanding speaker at a conference hosted by PhRMA, the industry's leading trade group. The conference was held at the James E. Clyburn Research Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, a center for biopharmaceutical research.

In this case, Hoyer exceeded the drug maker's $ 1 million PAC mark over the past decade, earning more than $ 1.02 million since 2007 and more than $ 128,000 in that election cycle.

"Mr. Hoyer's legislative positions are based on what is in the best interests of his constituents and the American people, and he has made clear that the new Congress will address the rising costs of health care and prescription drugs, "said Maroy Saez, a spokeswoman for Hoyer. 19659003] The offices of Clyburn, McCarthy and Pelosi did not respond to requests.

Unlike their deputies, Pelosi received nearly $ 193,000 from drugmaker PACs over the past decade. In the month before the parliamentary elections, she stepped up her demands for drug control measures and said on election day that she believed the Democrats could find a "common ground" with Trump to tackle the problem.

Also, the members of the Supreme Committee often collect huge sums from the industries that oversee them. Newspaper MP Frank Pallone, the Democrat who is expected to preside over the House Energy and Commerce Committee, received close to $ 169,000 from pharmaceutical manufacturers' PACs in the election cycle, according to KHN's database. Since 2007, he has raised more than $ 840,000.

Similarly, Republican Greg Walden, the Oregon Republican, who resigned his term as chair of the committee, received most members of this election cycle at $ 302,300 in the form of contributions from PACs to the drug maker

in contrast MEP Elijah Cummings – the Democrats of Maryland, who is expected to lead the Supreme Committee of the Committee on Supervision and Government Reform – has won a minimum of money for Drugmaker and has received only $ 18,500 since the 2007/08 election cycle. He made it clear that next year he wants to target drug companies as he investigates rising drug costs.

The Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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