CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
202-408-5565 | [email protected]

Washington—Pharmaceutical lobbying on drug pricing has more than quadrupled over the last five years, according to a new report released today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

In the report, “A Bitter Pill: How Big Pharma Lobbies to Keep Prescription Drug Prices High,” CREW examines how the pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying activity responded to the growing possibility that legislators may take action to rein in the cost of prescription drugs. The report reveals the pharmaceutical industry’s tactics to keep drug prices high, including lobbying to oppose new legislation, protect and expand loopholes and delay the implementation of new regulations; utilization of the “revolving door” between government agencies and lobbying firms; public relations campaigns; and campaign spending. Key findings in the report include:

  • 153 companies and organizations reported lobbying on some variation of the term “drug pricing” in the first three quarters of 2017; the extent of drug company lobbying on this issue has more than quadrupled over the past five years

  • Twenty-two of Forbes magazine’s top 25 largest drug and biotech companies in the world were found to have lobbied on some variation of the term “drug pricing”

  • The industry’s biggest trade group increased dues for its member companies by 50% in order to raise $100 million for an influence campaign to stave off possible pricing regulations by U.S. lawmakers.

“As millions of Americans struggle to keep up with the rising cost of their medications, the pharmaceutical lobby is shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the prices up,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “Big Pharma has shown that it will use its considerable resources against any reform efforts perceived as a threat to its bottom line.”