Pharmaceutical industry donated to two-thirds of Congress ahead of 2020 elections: analysis

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More than two-thirds of Congress cashed a check from the pharmaceutical industry ahead of the 2020 election, according to an analysis from STAT.

Pfizer, which played a big role in the creation and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, donated up to $1 million to 228 members of Congress in 2020, and has also written checks for 1,048 candidates in state legislative races. 

Meanwhile, Amgen, which is based in California, donated nearly $1.3 million to 218 members of Congress.

The lawmakers who received the highest amount from the pharmaceutical industry include Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) — who sits on the Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee, which oversees a significant share of Congress’s health care legislation — and Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), according to STAT.

The analysis comes after the government relied on drugmakers to develop a COVID-19 vaccine during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But in 2019, Democratic lawmakers pushed for the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would have cost the industry $500 million in revenue, STAT noted. However, even with Democratic lawmakers attempting to pass the legislation, they still received $6.6 million in contributions from pharmaceutical companies. Republicans received $7.1 million. 

STAT’s analysis was conducted using data from donations made by 23 drug manufacturers and trade groups to Congress members in 2019 and 2020.

Tags Anna Eshoo COVID-19 vaccine donations Kurt Schrader Pfizer Inc. Richard Hudson Robin Kelly
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