Your Government on Drugs

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) has released the results of its year-long investigation into lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry, which found that the industry has spent more than $800 million since 1998 on lobbyists and political campaigns. In the past year alone, the industry hired nearly 1,300 lobbyists, including hundred of former public officials. "It is astonishing to learn that no other interest has spent more money to sway public policy in this time period," said CPI executive director Roberta Baskin. In addition to lobbying for industry-favorable policies domestically, the drug industry's trade lobby has enlisted the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to pressure pressure foreign governments into removing price controls on pharmaceuticals and restricting sales of lower-priced generic drugs.