Even As Merck’s 2015 Lobby Spend Ramps Up (Via 2016 Cycle) — It’s Still Running About 30 Per Cent Below Pfizer’s, Through Three Quarters

UPDATED: Final Q3 2015. See graphic at right. While the smaller lobbyist reports are still trickling in, here, for Q3 2015 — the larger ones are in and the trend line is clear: spending is up significantly over the past two years’ comparable levels. Much of that is likely due to the coming presidential primary political cycle, which makes Congress generally less responsive (in a friendly way) to big business interests — like Merck. [I should also note that the partially related July 2015 Rep. Cantor (R) item I mentioned refers to a former role that was “shared” among various legislative duties. So it goes. But make no mistake — this is a highly charged time for pharma — with even some Republicans (h/t FiercePharma) now “painting targets” on drug price increases — as a bully-pulpit issue.]

So as expected, lobbying increases, during these times. Nope, no surprise. Add to this that the Trans-Pacific Trade pact has been a very-specific focus, for pharma this year — and so too for Merck. Interestingly, though, on that note Pfizer has outspent Merck by around 30 per cent, over the last two years. And Pfizer is about a one-third larger enterprise (measured by market cap), than Kenilworth — so that too makes sense. In any event, here is some of the detail, at Merck — and I will update for a final figure (by changing the graphic at right) — likely next week, after all the stragglers are in, and the dust has settled:

. . . .Trans-Pacific Partnership, data exclusivity for biologics. . . .

340B (no specific bill), Oncology education (no specific bill), adult vaccine policies (no specific bill), adolescent vaccine policies (no specific bill), DISARM (H.R. 4187), biosimilars (no specific bill), 21st Century Cures (H.R.6), FDA Regulatory Issues (no specific bill), general pharmaceutical industry issues, Innovation for Healthy Americans (no bill number). . . .

Comprehensive tax reform (no specific bill), international tax proposals (no specific bill), orphan drug legislation (S.1128), base erosion (no specific bill), territorial tax system (no specific bill). . . .

Medicare Part D (general education, no specific bill), changes to low-income subsidy structure in Medicare Part D (general education, no specific bill), Medicare Part B (general education, no specific bill). . . .

Intellectual property (general education), patent reform (H.R. 9, the Innovation Act; S.632, the STRONG Patents Act). . . .

Fairness to Pet Owners (S.1200), general animal health issues. . . .

So, now you are up to date. [Note that “general animal health issues” has replaced a 2014 reference to “cattle feed additives“, here in Q3 2015 (see the linked language, for background there).] Onward — and. . . Go Cubs Go!

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