The record $306 million Big Pharma spent on lobbying last year paid off, according to Open Secrets, which said the federal government awarded lucrative contracts to pharma and medical device manufacturers. Spending on pharmaceutical industry lobbying reached a record amount in 2020, at more than $306 million, compared to $299 million in 2019. There were 1,502 pharmaceutical lobbyists in 2020, 63.58% of whom were former government employees. The top pharmaceutical lobbyist in 2020 was the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which spent $25.9 million, making them the third top lobbying spender overall. The marketing of prescription drugs, health services, laboratory tests and disease awareness rose to $29.9 billion in 2016. The Wellcome Trust is a top funder of health research globally and has been a major player in the COVID-19 pandemic, even though it’s invested heavily in companies making COVID-19 treatments.
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