PhRMA’s $21.8 million worth of lobbying through September put it ahead of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s $17.2 million. PhRMA remains on pace to exceed its previous spending high of $27.2 million in 2009, and the health sector as a whole, with a lobbying bill of $421.5 million for three-quarters of 2018, is just slightly ahead of last year’s record of $561.3 million, the center reported on OpenSecrets.org.
PhRMA is third overall in lobbying spending so far this year, behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($69.1 million) and the National Association of Realtors ($53.8 million). Blue Cross Blue Shield is sixth overall, with the American Hospital Association ($17.2 million, seventh) and the American Medical Association ($15.5 million, ninth) also in the top 10, according to the center’s analysis of data from the Senate Office of Public Records.
The pharmaceutical/health product industry leads health-sector lobbying with $216.1 million in spending so far in 2018, followed by hospitals/nursing homes at $73.6 million, health professionals at $68.6 million, and health services/HMOs at $57.5 million.