A new collaborative report by STAT and the National Institute on Money and Politics provides a first-of-its-kind analysis of the drug industry's influence on state representatives.
The report also makes it easy for citizens to find out how much cash the industry spent in their state, and which lawmakers took it.
STAT tracked the political spending of 25 private entities, including the top 23 U.S. drugmakers and two industry lobbying groups: Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
The data, collected between January 2019 to July 2020, shows that even in the midst of a devastating pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry's influence campaign reached almost 2,000 state lawmakers.
State elected officials cashed checks ranging from $500 to $20,000. Those amounts are small potatoes compared with what the industry hands out to federal lawmakers — but it's enough to significantly influence a state legislator's campaign, STAT said.
Top spender Pfizer and its political action committee wrote more than 1,100 checks, worth a combined $778,000, to a total of 994 lawmakers in 42 states.
Eli Lilly, Merck and Novartis, which ranked third, fourth and fifth among contributors, each spent between $500,000 and $300,000 at the state level.
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STAT's report follows its companion analysis of drug industry spending at the federal level, which revealed $11 million in industry giving as of July 2020.