According to Politico, “Nine of the 10 largest drug makers increased spending on lobbying Congress dropping more than $50 million on advocacy in 2015..., up from $46.7 million in 2014. PhRMA also increased lobbying spending from $16.5 million in 2014 to $18.3 million last year amid rising scrutiny over drug costs.”
That $68 million spent in 2015 equates to just over $127,000 in lobbying effort for each or our elected members of the US House and Senate. It’s a difficult number to fathom, but these organizations wouldn’t spend this amount of money of high-end lobbying efforts if they didn’t get results. As this combined $68 million was an increase of 10% increase from the amount spent in 2014, the investment in lobbying must be paying off handsomely.
One of Big Pharma’s main goals is to “reform” (read eliminate) the 340B program.
There is no mistaking Big Pharma’s intent toward the 340B drug program. If they can end the drug program, their profits rise. It’s as simple as that. They will not look back with regret; they will just move on to the next way to increase profits - vulnerable patients and safety-net providers be damned.
The bad news about the future of the program is that the true beneficiaries of the program, the patients, are often the sick, poor, and disenfranchised. I know this, as our team members work with - and for- these patients on a daily basis. Many of the patients we support can’t read, much less create a political stand against annual $68 million dollar lobbying efforts by multinational companies.
So, the facts - represented in real US Dollars spent on lobbying - demonstrate that Big Pharma relishes the idea of ending the 340B program.
For all of those people that understand the value of the 340B program to our communities, the time to stand up and fight for the future of this program is now.
What is your organization doing to protect the 340B program?