The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America () led the way on health-sector lobbying in the first half of 2018 with spending that’s on pace to top its previous 1-year high, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
PhRMA spent over $15.7 million on lobbying through the end of June, and equaling that amount over the second half of the year would eclipse the $27.4 million the organization spent in 2009. PhRMA’s total for the year so far puts it third among all entities: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was first with $43.7 million and the National Association of Realtors was second at $27.3 million, the center reported on OpenSecrets.org. The National Association of Realtors has been second in spending every year since 2012, and the chamber has been first every year since 2001.
The health sector’s three other representatives in the lobbying Top 10 for the first half of this year are Blue Cross/Blue Shield in fifth with $11.8 million in spending, the American Hospital Association in sixth ($11.4 million), and the American Medical Association in eighth ($11.2 million), based on the center’s analysis of data from the Senate Office of Public Records. The four current health sector representatives have all been in the top 10 every year since 2013.
Total spending for the health sector through June was $290.3 million, which was first among the 13 sectors into which the center separates the U.S. economy; spending for lobbying among all sectors was $1.69 billion. The health sector was ranked first in spending each of the 2 previous years and has never been lower than third since the center’s record keeping began in 2000, according to OpenSecrets.org.