The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) spent $10.7 million lobbying the US government in the first six months of 2007, reports the AP. According to this chart, of the top seven spenders since 1998, four of them are health-related, giving you an idea just how entrenched the interests are and just how difficult it will be for a new president to gather the political will for any sort of major overhaul.
Also, a study released last week in The New England Journal of Medicine brought the DTC advertising issue back into the spotlight. The authors called for a moratorium on DTC advertising (good for PR?). “Direct-to-consumer advertising spending is increasing in terms of its share of total marketing budget, but it’s still a smaller share relative to promotion aimed at influencing prescribers,” one of the authors said. PhRMA defended DTC advertising and accused the study of overlooking its educational benefits.
Here’s a round up of bloggers thoughts on the DTC issue.