Merck Drastically Cuts Its Lobbyist Spend In Q2 2016

While final figures for Pfizer are not yet available (as it is almost always tardy in reporting), it looks like Pfizer cut its Q2 2016 lobby spend by only about 12 per cent, compared to Q1 2016.

Merck on the other hand, has cut its Q2 spending in half, compared to Q2 2015 — and spent only about a third of what it spent just last quarter, in Q1 2016. My suspicion would be that this US presidential election year summer brings us to both a congressional recess, and not much in the way of action on major legislative proposals, for or against pharma’s interests — as presidential campaigning now dominates the scene. Even so, here is what Kenilworth says it spent its lobby-dollars on, in Q2 2016:

. . .340B (no specific bill), Hepatitis C (general education; no specific bill), Human papilloma virus and vaccine policies (general education), shingles vaccine policies (general education), antimicrobial resistance (general education and DISARM (H.R. 4187), biosimilars (no specific bill), 21st Century Cures (H.R.6), Senate Innovation Project (no bill number), cost and value of medicines (no specific bill), Strengthening Public Health Emergncy Response Act (H.R. 3299), priority review voucher and medical countermeasures (general education), women’s health (general education), insurance benefit design and value-based contracting (general education), general pharmaceutical issues. . . .

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), H.R. 5122 (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation demo), Independent Payment Advisory Board (general education, no specific bill), Medicare Part B (general education, no specific bill); Medicaid (no specific bill). . . .

Trans-Pacific Partnership, data exclusivity for biologics, United Nations high level panel. . . .

FY17 Labor HHS Appropriations bills, FY17 Agriculture Appropriations bills, vial size. . . .

The United Nations high level panel above was likely on Ebola and vaccine policies. Now you know. And I think Pfizer’s figures stayed relatively high in Q2 2016, in large part because it was still working to get clearance for the Allergan inversion deal into early Q2 — which it has now abandoned. I’d expect sharper declines from Pfizer, in Q3 2016 — proportionately more in line with Merck’s. But time will tell. I am planning on wholly-avoiding Mr. Trump’s speech tonight — as I don’t want to upset my stomach. But we will see. . . . smile.

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