Merck’s Final Q3 2015 US Lobbying Figures: Still Behind Pfizer — But Increasing

We have now updated our earlier item, for final tallies through three-quarters of 2015, compared to three-quarters of 2014. Do see that graphic.

But I’ve made the graphic at right to isolate just third quarter of 2015 increase in spending. From 2013 to 2014, the third quarter spend was essentially flat, year over year. However, this year there’s been an almost $500K uptick in spending, in Q3 alone — while overall for the year, the spend is up nearly a million dollars. The earlier post detailed my conjecture as to why that might be so — but here is the bulk of it:

. . . .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. . . . .

Okay — onward, to a happy warm weekend here. . . travel safe; travel light, one and all — as we await signs of new life. . . smile. . .

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