During a House Subcommittee on Health hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) criticized wealthy and well-connected pharmaceutical industries for flooding Washington with lobbyists and campaign donations in an effort to stave off attempts to lower prescription drug prices for the American people.
“The public has a perception that industries like the pharmaceutical industry have undue influence on how a policy gets made in Washington with respect to drug pricing,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “That influence comes from many things, but high on the list is a tremendous amount of money that goes into purchasing lobbyists, which are deployed here. The pharmacy industry has one of the highest ratios of lobbyists to Members of Congress of just about any industry out there. That is part of the public’s grievance, as well as a lot of money that just flows up here in the form of campaign contributions.”
Sarbanes continued: “I’d be interested for you to comment on whether you think that the ability to channel so much money into lobbying and other things does give you a competitive advantage over other points of view who don’t have the same deep pockets and resources.”