I’m Tardy With This Item — But Merck Spent $1.375 Million on Lobbying, In Q4 2016. I Simply Forgot To Look.

It’s all been public on the Senate’s website since late January 2017 — but my mind’s been. . . elsewhere. This represents a lower quarterly spend, compared to prior years’ Q4 spending — due to previously-discussed presidential election year political cycles.

We see this about every four years — and for the full year, Merck spent just over $8 million, while Pfizer spent slightly more than $13 million for the full year. Here is what Merck’s Q4 2016 money was spent on:

. . . .340B (no specific bill), Hepatitis C (general education; no specific bill), Human papilloma virus and vaccine policies (general education; first dollar coverage; preventative services), shingles vaccine policies (general education), antimicrobial resistance (general education), biosimilars (no specific bill), 21st Century Cures (H.R.6), cost and value of medicines (no specific bill), women’s health (general education), Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA; general education), Affordable Care Act, general pharmaceutical issues (transparency, formulary design, prescription drug coverage). . . .

Comprehensive tax reform (no specific bill), House Republican tax blueprint, international tax proposals (no specific bill), orphan drug legislation (HR 3678). . . .

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 Part B demo), Independent Payment Advisory Board (general education, no specific bill), Medicare Part B (general education); Medicaid (no specific bill). . . .

[Ed. Note — new this quarter:] FMD vaccine bank. . . .

H.R. 2028 (continuing resolution to fund the federal government). . . .

[Candidly, I’m not sure what “FMD vaccine bank” efforts might refer to. . . will look into that. Possibly “future medical disasters”? Dunno. Nope. “FMD” vaccine banking is foot and mouth disease — in farm animals. Hmmm. I thought Merck had exited animal health(?). . . . I guess we still need a federal firewall against human contagion paths. Odd.]

This Q4 Merck spend compares with $2.8 million by Pfizer, in the same Q4 period. So Ian C. Read spent out of proportion to Pfizer’s size — compared to Kenilworth’s size. It seems some times, the best course is to say nothing at all. . . . Full moon, lunar eclipse and comet’s fly-by tonight, if my mood improves, and the skies clear here. . . .



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