During an election year when voters and candidates from both parties registered outrage at high drug prices, the pharmaceutical industry's most powerful trade group boosted revenues by nearly 25 percent, paying out millions to lobbyists and politicians, according to an NPR report broadcast this week.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, raised $271 million in 2016, a $50 million increase over 2015, according to IRS filings. The group gave millions to presidential, congressional and state candidates and spent $57 million on lobbying efforts, a two-thirds increase over 2015.
"Does that surprise you?" former PhRMA CEO Billy Tauzin told NPR. When government responds to voters' cry for lower drug prices, Tauzin stated, "PhRMA has always responded by increasing its resources.