Big-Spending Drug Industry Defenders

The lead U.S. drug industry lobby group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), spent $10.7 million in the first six months of 2007 lobbying the U.S. government. (In the preceding six-month period, PhRMA spent $8.8 million.) Associated Press reports that PhRMA'S latest lobbying report, required under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, states that the group lobbied Congress, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies on "issues related to Medicare, patent reform, international trade and drug fees, importation and safety." Billy Tauzin, a former Republican member of the House of Representatives from Louisiana turned PhRMA chief executive, is one of the group's registered lobbyists.