Dems Voting No on Prescription Drug Imports Receive 70% More Pharma Money

Dems Voting No on Prescription Drug Imports Receive 70% More Pharma Money
BERKELEY, Calif. - December 16 - On Tuesday, December 15, the U.S. Senate voted against the importation of prescription drugs, 51-48. Offered by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) as an amendment to the health care reform bill, the provision would pave the way for market access to cheaper prescription drugs, by relaxing restrictions on imports from Canada and other highly-developed countries.

In a bipartisan effort rarely seen in recent votes on health care reform, 30 Democrats sided with 17 Republicans and one Independent to kill the bill.

MAPLight.org found that Senate Democrats who voted to block imports, siding with drug companies, received an average of $73,729 each from drug companies over the past six years-70% more than Democrats who voted in favor of imports.

Among all Senators, those voting to block imports received an average of $85,812 each from drug companies, 66% more than those who voted in favor of imports.

All Democrats (and Independents) Average to Yes votes (allow imports): $43,446 Average to No votes (block imports): $73,729

All Senators Average to Yes votes (allow imports): $51,803 Average to No votes (block imports): $85,812

The pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is opposed to drug importation, claiming the risks of counterfeit medicines and sub-standard regulations could cause undue harm to consumers. Senator Dorgan and 12 co-sponsors argue in the text of this bill that "a prescription drug is neither safe nor effective to an individual who cannot afford it." Dorgan estimates that the bill would save American consumers $100 billion over ten years.

Previous MAPLight.org research has also shown alignment of pharma campaign money and votes in Congress. On a Medicare-related vote in September, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee who voted in favor of pharma interests received 4.2 times more campaign money from pharma interests than Dems who voted against pharma interests. And in May 2007, the Senate voted to kill a similar effort to allow prescription drug imports. Senators who voted in favor of pharma interests received three times more campaign money from pharma interests-$100,000 each over six years-than Senators who voted against them.

Note: Averages for yesterday's vote exclude Senator Byrd, who did not vote, and recently elected or appointed Senators Roland Burris, Paul Kirk, Herbert Kohl, and George LeMieux, for whom campaign finance records are not yet available.

Campaign Contributions to Senators from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Interests, January 1, 2003 - August 12, 2009

Senator  Party
 State
 Amount from pharma interests
 Vote on allowing imports
 
Akaka, Daniel
 D
 HI
 $4,000
 No
 
Alexander, Lamar
 R
 TN
 $108,950
 Yes
 
Barrasso, John
 R
 WY
 $55,500
 No
 
Baucus, Max
 D
 MT
 $261,020
 No
 
Bayh, Evan
 D
 IN
 $144,072
 No
 
Begich, Mark
 D
 AK
 $7,500
 Yes
 
Bennet, Michael
 D
 CO
 $10,750
 Yes
 
Bennett, Robert
 R
 UT
 $124,000
 No
 
Bingaman, Jeff
 D
 NM
 $48,500
 Yes
 
Bond, Christopher
 R
 MO
 $99,003
 Yes
 
Boxer, Barbara
 D
 CA
 $35,900
 Yes
 
Brown, Sherrod
 D
 OH
 $17,300
 Yes
 
Brownback, Samuel
 R
 KS
 $28,250
 No
 
Bunning, Jim
 R
 KY
 $64,250
 No
 
Burr, Richard
 R
 NC
 $301,898
 No
 
Burris, Roland
 D
 IL
 $0
 No
 
Byrd, Robert
 D
 WV
 $32,100
 Not voting
 
Cantwell, Maria
 D
 WA
 $22,400
 No
 
Cardin, Benjamin
 D
 MD
 $40,850
 No
 
Carper, Thomas
 D
 DE
 $135,700
 No
 
Casey, Robert
 D
 PA
 $34,750
 No
 
Chambliss, Saxby
 R
 GA
 $83,949
 No
 
Coburn, Thomas
 R
 OK
 $44,051
 Yes
 
Cochran, Thad
 R
 MS
 $69,000
 No
 
Collins, Susan
 R
 ME
 $70,500
 Yes
 
Conrad, Kent
 D
 ND
 $83,000
 Yes
 
Corker, Bob
 R
 TN
 $65,200
 Yes
 
Cornyn, John
 R
 TX
 $119,700
 Yes
 
Crapo, Michael
 R
 ID
 $64,580
 Yes
 
DeMint, Jim
 R
 SC
 $40,000
 Yes
 
Dodd, Christopher
 D
 CT
 $174,525
 No
 
Dorgan, Byron
 D
 ND
 $12,500
 Yes
 
Durbin, Richard
 D
 IL
 $28,600
 No
 
Ensign, John
 R
 NV
 $89,950
 No
 
Enzi, Michael
 R
 WY
 $146,500
 No
 
Feingold, Russell
 D
 WI
 $6,200
 Yes
 
Feinstein, Dianne
 D
 CA
 $39,500
 Yes
 
Franken, Al
 D
 MN
 $2,500
 Yes
 
Gillibrand, Kirsten
 D
 NY
 $44,400
 No
 
Graham, Lindsey
 R
 SC
 $55,250
 Yes
 
Grassley, Charles
 R
 IA
 $103,700
 Yes
 
Gregg, Judd
 R
 NH
 $122,500
 No
 
Hagan, Kay
 D
 NC
 $4,650
 No
 
Harkin, Thomas
 D
 IA
 $81,800
 Yes
 
Hatch, Orrin
 R
 UT
 $262,950
 No
 
Hutchison, Kay
 R
 TX
 $29,250
 Yes
 
Inhofe, James
 R
 OK
 $20,250
 No
 
Inouye, Daniel
 D
 HI
 $200
 No
 
Isakson, John
 R
 GA
 $126,599
 No
 
Johanns, Mike
 R
 NE
 $43,100
 Yes
 
Johnson, Tim
 D
 SD
 ($1,500)
 Yes
 
Kaufman, Edward
 D
 DE
 $1,500
 No
 
Kerry, John
 D
 MA
 $21,170
 No
 
Kirk, Paul
 D
 MA
 $0
 No
 
Klobuchar, Amy
 D
 MN
 $2,290
 Yes
 
Kohl, Herbert
 D
 WI
 $0
 Yes
 
Kyl, Jon
 R
 AZ
 $117,350
 No
 
Landrieu, Mary
 D
 LA
 $89,550
 No
 
Lautenberg, Frank
 D
 NJ
 $97,550
 No
 
Leahy, Patrick
 D
 VT
 $46,600
 Yes
 
LeMieux, George
 R
 FL
 $0
 Yes
 
Levin, Carl
 D
 MI
 $1,000
 No
 
Lieberman, Joseph
 I
 CT
 $199,540
 No
 
Lincoln, Blanche
 D
 AR
 $100,750
 Yes
 
Lugar, Richard
 R
 IN
 $51,850
 No
 
McCain, John
 R
 AZ
 $7,000
 Yes
 
McCaskill, Claire
 D
 MO
 $6,050
 Yes
 
McConnell, Mitch
 R
 KY
 $225,900
 Yes
 
Menéndez, Robert
 D
 NJ
 $196,452
 No
 
Merkley, Jeff
 D
 OR
 $18,500
 Yes
 
Mikulski, Barbara
 D
 MD
 $70,995
 No
 
Murkowski, Lisa
 R
 AK
 $63,050
 Yes
 
Murray, Patty
 D
 WA
 $144,400
 No
 
Nelson, Ben
 D
 NE
 $138,098
 Yes
 
Nelson, Bill
 D
 FL
 $38,600
 Yes
 
Pryor, Mark
 D
 AR
 $31,000
 Yes
 
Reed, John
 D
 RI
 $34,100
 No
 
Reid, Harry
 D
 NV
 $74,800
 No
 
Risch, James
 R
 ID
 $22,100
 Yes
 
Roberts, Pat
 R
 KS
 $80,650
 No
 
Rockefeller, John
 D
 WV
 $44,000
 No
 
Sanders, Bernard
 I
 VT
 $420
 Yes
 
Schumer, Charles
 D
 NY
 $54,900
 No
 
Sessions, Jefferson
 R
 AL
 $45,000
 Yes
 
Shaheen, Jeanne
 D
 NH
 $2,250
 Yes
 
Shelby, Richard
 R
 AL
 $25,000
 Yes
 
Snowe, Olympia
 R
 ME
 $4,000
 Yes
 
Specter, Arlen
 D
 PA
 $353,550
 Yes
 
Stabenow, Debbie Ann
 D
 MI
 $39,134
 Yes
 
Tester, Jon
 D
 MT
 $14,000
 No
 
Thune, John
 R
 SD
 $45,300
 Yes
 
Udall, Mark
 D
 CO
 $102,275
 No
 
Udall, Tom
 D
 NM
 $15,300
 Yes
 
Vitter, David
 R
 LA
 $17,050
 Yes
 
Voinovich, George
 R
 OH
 $63,750
 No
 
Warner, Mark
 D
 VA
 $84,950
 No
 
Webb, Jim
 D
 VA
 $8,750
 Yes
 
Whitehouse, Sheldon
 D
 RI
 $11,800
 No
 
Wicker, Roger
 R
 MS
 $67,600
 Yes
 
Wyden, Ron
 D
 OR
 $27,800
 Yes
 

Methodology: Campaign contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets Open Data, and includes PAC and individual contributions from pharmaceutical manufacturing interests. Date range of contributions: January 1, 2003 - August 12, 2009. Contributions to the presidential campaigns of Senators are not included.

MAPLight.org's previous coverage of health care reform includes Lieberman Among Top Recipients of Health Insurance Money; Opposes Medicare Expansion (December 15), Public Option Dies in Senate While Health Industry Money Flows (December 14), analyses of campaign contributions and votes on the public option (Sept. 30, Oct. 8) and votes benefiting pharma interests.
 
.###
MAPLight.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Berkeley, California. Its mission is to illuminate the connection between Money and Politics (MAP) using our groundbreaking database of campaign contributions and legislative votes. MAPLight.org combines data from the Federal Election Commission, the Center for Responsive Politics, GovTrack.us, the National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP), the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission and other sources to better inform Americans and local and national media about the role of special-interest money in our political system. To learn more, visit: MAPLight.org.
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