Merck Lobby Spend Is WAY Up: 36 Percent In First Half of 2011 vs. 2010

Merck’s US lobbyist half-year spend is up again — $8.3 million, compared to $6.1 million in 2010, and only $3.0 million in 2009. Also, spending on lobyists has nearly tripled in the last three years alone.

Significantly, spending in the first half of 2011, equals what Merck spent in all of 2010. But to be fair, Merck typically spent less in the third and fourth quarters on lobbyists, than in Q1 and Q2, in the last three years.

Merck (or firms and lobbyists it hired) lobbied on specific measures as indicated in the parentheticals, or if no bill indicated, generally about (among other matters):

Δ Against expansion of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, during reauthorization discussions (no specific bill)

Δ Liberalizing favorable federal income tax treatment (tax-sheltering) repatriation of foreign net profits (no specific bill), and liberalizing deferral of taxation of foreign earned income

Δ Generally, on government budget issues, including Medicare Part D rebates. Discussions and possible legislation amending Title XVIII, Part D (Medicare Part D) of SSA, including issues of “non-interference clause” and Medicare Advantage. Legislation to address physician payments issues, including SGR and related provisions to Medicare package. Health reform implementation. Independent Payment Advisory Board. Support efforts to ensure appropriate access to vaccines and preventive care. . . .

Δ Improving treatment of transfer pricing of intangibles (no specific bill)

Δ Opposing unrestricted re-importation of pharmaceuticals (no specific bill)

Δ In favor of incentives for antibiotic research and devlopment (H.R. 2182); hepatitis C education (no specific bill)

Δ Alleviating pharmaceutical shortages (S. 296, HR. 2245)

Δ In favor of comprehensive tax reform (no specific bill); transfer pricing of intangibles (no specific bill)

Δ In favor of renewal and expansion of the R&D tax credit (H.R. 942); repatriation (no specific bill); territorial tax system (no specific bill)

Δ In favor of Patent law reform (H.R. 1249)

Δ In favor of Access to over-the-counter medications (no specific bill)

Δ In favor of Non-interference in Medicare Part D (no specific bill)

Δ Against Medicaid-style rebates in Medicare Part D (no specific bill)

Δ Against Independent Payment Advisory Board (H.R. 452, S. 668)

Δ In favor of increasing the number of people eligible for health insurance coverage

Δ In favor of U.S. fedeeral deficit reduction (no specific bill)

Δ Lobbying about the WTO Cotton agreement (H.R. 2112)

Δ In favor of FDA funding (H.R. 2112)

Δ In favor of ADAP funding (no specific bill)

Δ In favor of Korea, Colombia and Panama Free Trade Agreements (no specific bills)

Δ In favor of data exclusivity in free trade agrements (no specific bills)

Δ In plainer English then, Merck lobbied to oppose government negotiated prices — on drugs purchased by government programs, beyond what already exists in the current scheme

Δ And — of course — implementation issues regarding H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or more plainly, seeking advantage for Merck as health care reform is rolled out. . . .

There. Now you know.

[Now, what else is on your mind(s)?]

This is another open thread for the week of August 15, 2011.


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