Sharp Overall Two Year Decline, In Lobby Spend Continues, At Kenilworth, In Q1 2015

While the first quarter of 2015 is up, just marginally, from the first quarter of 2014, the four year trend is unmistakable: Merck is decreasing its lobby spend, to about half of the all time highs seen in 2012 and 2013 (six full years’ data background here). The first quarter data clearly backs this general thesis. [Even so, Merck this quarter spent well over double what Apple spent, in Q1 2015 — a trend I’ve also noted before.]

Here is what the bulk of the Q1 2015 spend went toward:

. . . .Issues relating to the further development of antibiotics and antimicrobials for serious and unmet medical needs; H.R. 512, DISARM Act of 2015 (Developing an Innovative Strategy for Antimicrobial Resistant Microorganisms Act of 2015). . . .

Medicare Coverage and Reimbursement issues; Medicare access to DXA services; Medicare reimbursement for antimicrobial drugs, including related provisions in HR 4187. . . .

Diabetes Prevention & Treatment, including related provisions of HR 3322, The Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention, Access and Care Act of 2013 and HR 074, The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act. . . .

Potential legislation or legislative provisions relating to Medicare Part D and the establishment of a Medicaid style mandatory rebate on prescription drugs); H. Con. Res. 27, Establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2016 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 through 2025 (potential provisions relating to Medicare Part D and the establishment of a Medicaid style rebate, NIH funding provisions drawing funds from BIO/PhRMA industry government settlements, or other Medicare revenue raising provisions); S. Con. Res. 11, An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2016 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 through 2025 (potential provisions relating to Medicare Part D and the establishment of a Medicaid style rebate, NIH funding provisions drawing funds from BIO/PhRMA industry government settlements, or other Medicare revenue raising provisions). . . .

H.R. 2 – Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015; H.R. 1470/S. 810 – SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2015; no specific bills, access to contraception, biosimilars guidance, immunization access; general budget resolution, reconciliation, deficit reduction, debt ceiling; H.R. 83 – Consolidated and Future Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015; H. Con. Res. 27 – House budget resolution; S. Con. Res. 11 – Senate budget resolution. . . .

Trade Promotion Authority; Trans-Pacific Partnership; Issues relating to vaccines; Orphan drugs. . . . .

Separately, for the first time (if memory serves) Merck disclosed that it had hired the Barbour Griffith & Rogers, LLC lobbyist firm (yes that Barbour!). That firm will provide “guidance and strategic counsel with regard to regulations and legislation that could impact the pharmaceutical industry generally, and Merck, specifically.” So they are sort of a quarterback for the others, I gather. Or maybe, that engagement comes as a package as Mr. Frazier accepted the Chairmanship of PhRMA for 2015-2016. Now you know — or, at least, my best guesses. Busy day — in the real life gig, here — will likely be silent for the balance of the day.

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