Q1 2017 Lobbyist Spend, Part Deux — What Pfizer Lobbied Our Congress About…

It occurred to me that perhaps Merck’s decision to spend only very lightly on lobbying here during Q1 2017 may reflect more than the usual belief that a newly-changed Congress is not inclined to make bold moves in big pharma’s favor — at least not in the first 100 days. It may also reflect the company’s view that not much of substance will — or can — be accomplished, by this Congress (at least while “led” by this President).

By way of contrast, I suspect that Pfizer’s chairman and CEO thinks 45 offers him a chance at securing the regressive pro-capitalist tax and intellectual property policies he’s long pined for (think of his twice failed $100-plus billion inversions, here). Remember, in the same time frame last year, Merck spent about $3.7 million while Pfizer spent about $4.1 million. [Amgen was up about a million dollars, in the same comparative periods — to a little over $4 million.]

So (it would seem to me, at least) that Ian C. Read is spending — like a sailor on leave in St. Croix, in 1768. [Q.: I wonder whether most of his shareholders support these forays.] Just take a look below, in orange, and compare the list to Merck’s of earlier, in blue — the tax dominated topics upon which Mr. Read has his people lobbying. . . would bear this conjecture out (especially when compared to the medical delivery dominated agenda Kenilworth pursued, as we indicated in the wee hours of this luminous but clear Wednesday morning):

. . . .▲ Trans Pacific Partnership Negotiations, Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, Trans-Atlantic trade & Investment Partnership, Canada IP/Trade Issues, South Africa IP Issues, China IP, Indonesia IP, Thailand IP, Korea Pricing Issues, United Nations Health Panel, G7/G20, APEC, OECD. . . .

▲ Drug Pricing, User Fees, Biosimilars Reimbursement. . . .

▲ Medicare Rebates/Medicare Part D, Medicare Part B CMMI Demonstration, Non-Interference, Re-Importation. . . .

▲ Comprehensive Tax Reform, Territorial Systems, Deferral, Border Adjustable Tax. . . .

▲ Omnibus Appropriations Bill, 2018 FDA & Labor/HHS Appropriation Bills. . . .

▲ Prescription Drug Abuse. . . .

Now you know. It seems Mr. Read is keenly interested in financial engineering — and maybe not so much, in the actual delivery of medicines. [And yes, every narrative needs a foil, so he provides a convenient one this day. Smile. . . . To be clear(er), I would be careful about criticizing the 800 pound gorilla’s new pink fur-fringed mu-mu, if my paycheck in part required friendly access to the same gorilla. But it. . . doesn’t. Heh.] ‘Tis a glorious morning! Go out and savor it. . . .

नमस्त

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