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AbbVie tops industry lobby
AbbVie Spent nearly $4 million Lobbying in the first three months of 2022 alone — more than any other drugmaker spent during the same period, and nearly $1 million more than the company spent in a single quarter. The record spending made AbbVie the seventh-largest corporate lobbying spender last quarter, ahead of giants like Lockheed Martin, CVS Health and AT&T.
In a statement, the company attributed “the majority” of the sharp increase to increases in industry association dues, but declined to detail which dues were raised or by how much. Its outside lobbying costs only increased by about $120,000.
AbbVie faces a difficult transition next year, with upcoming market competition challenging its blockbuster drug Humira. Democrats’ ambitious drug pricing plan could make a bad situation worse.read more Deep dive story With my colleague Nick Floco.
AstraZeneca’s ambitious vaccine dream is finally officially over
AstraZeneca was once the world’s best option for developing a rapid Covid-19 vaccine, and the company’s initial contract from Operation Warp Speed was larger than any other drugmaker.
AstraZeneca told us that its contract for 300 million doses is structured so payments will be sent on delivery. The government ended up paying for only 70 million doses of the vaccine, the documents show, meaning that canceling the vaccine did save some money. Depending on when it’s released, the extra cash could help the White House as it seeks more Covid-19 relief money. (Actually the cancellation of the contract was not a surprise, as AstraZeneca decided not to apply for an emergency use authorization in the United States.)
Still, canceling the global vaccine push for the Biden administration is a blow.The White House had hoped to donate tens of millions of AstraZeneca drugs to other countries, but according to recent reports At least 105 million doses of the AstraZeneca drug were destroyed after a manufacturing problem at an Emergent Biosolutions plant, according to a House Oversight Committee release. The White House has still not publicly announced the cancellation and did not respond to a request for comment.
An unexpected restructuring looms for CBD makers
On Tuesday, Senate lawmakers added an unexpected provision to a must-pass FDA bill that has the potential to seriously shake up the CBD market, Nick reports.
This change is fluid – it is illegal to sell a product as a dietary supplement that does not meet the definition of a dietary supplement. But the FDA has publicly declared CBD a drug, not a supplement—meaning companies that make CBD supplements could break the law if the bill passes.
Daniel Fabrikant, head of the Natural Products Association, called it an “attack on the entire industry” and has organized a letter-writing campaign against the effort.
A major caveat: Even if the bill passes, it will be up to the FDA to decide when to strike — not everyone believes they will. “On the one hand, I’m a little skeptical that this will change immediately [things] Too many, of course, unless the FDA completely changes its enforcement stance,” said Jonathan Havens, an attorney representing CBD manufacturers.
Capitol Hill Notebook
One of the best parts of being a Hill reporter is that we can ask lawmakers any question we want as we roam around the building. These reactions don’t always guarantee a full story, but they’re usually still fun. I would like to include some of these exchanges here. Have a pressing question for a given member of Congress? Feel free to drop me a message.
This week, I interviewed Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH), who is pushing for insulin pricing reform.As other issues such as abortion rights, the war in Ukraine and baby formula shortages have swept Capitol Hill, I asked her where she was Her insulin bill with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) position, as the original goal was to have a vote before Memorial Day — it’s mid-May, and no text of the bill has been released.
Fear not, advocate: This is still a work in progress, she confirmed to me before slipping into the Senate this week for a vote.you can Read more about this policy Meanwhile, she’s working on it.
what we are reading
- Medicare Advantage’s coding industry “does nothing good for society,” former top Medicare official says Statistical data
- Covid testing company that missed 96% of cases, No public
- Drugmakers have been keeping cheaper generic inhalers out for years, analysis finds Statistical data
- Why corporate America is afraid to talk about abortion, fast company
- Two states sided with HHS in bitter spat with pharma over 340B, Statistical data