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Drug Companies are Top Health Care Lobbyists

Pharmaceutical companies spend more money lobbying Congress than other health care organizations, according to a new study. Meanwhile, lobbying by physicians lagged behind, indicating the decline in the political influence of physicians compared to the drug companies. Among health care organizations, drug companies spent the most on lobbying, $96 million, followed by physicians and other health professionals, $46 million. Hospitals and nursing homes spent $40 million while health insurance and managed care organizations spent $31 million. Disease advocacy and public health organizations spent only $12 million. As you can see here, the drug companies spent almost twice as much money lobbying to influence health policy decisions than health care professionals.

These decisions affect virtually all aspects of health care, so it's not surprising that our country is so focused on a drug-based model of treating disease when you look at which groups are spending the most money. The drug companies have a huge influence on the majority of published studies and nearly all of medical education. This influence causes physicians to use their expensive symptomatic Band-Aids as solutions for people's problems instead of adressing the underlying cause.

EurekAlert! March 26, 2004

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