Big Pharma Political Lobbying

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

Big Pharmaceutical companies spent over $51 million on the 2012 presidential election and nearly $32 million on the 2014 elections. As of September 2015, pharmaceutical companies had already put ten million dollars into the 2016 election.

Although these are large sums of money, these figures pale in comparison to how much these companies spend on lobbying politicians and influencing policies outside of elections. According to data gathered on the 2014 election, the industry spent seven dollars on lobbying for every dollar spent on the election.

As Mike Ludwig reports, the pharmaceutical industry spent $273 million on lobbying against the Affordable Care Act. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2014 alone these companies spent $229 million influencing lawmakers and legislators.

The pharmaceutical industry has sought to persuade the Obama administration to pressure India to tighten its laws on generic drugs. They also constantly lobby to prevent Medicare from negotiating drug prices with the companies that make them.

As Ludwig reports, Big Pharma includes some of the most profitable companies in the world, and the industry has “a clear interest in maintaining the political status quo.”

Source: Mike Ludwig, “How Much of Big Pharma’s Massive Profits Are Used to Influence Politicians?” Truthout, September 30, 2015,

Student Researcher: Harrison Hartman (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Debora Paterniti (Sonoma State University)