Pharma industry emerges as nation's biggest lobbyist

The pharmaceutical industry has run up an $800 million tab for lobbying Congress and backing political candidates over the past seven years, making it the "goliath" of American lobbying groups. The tab breaks down to $675 million in lobbying, $87 million in campaign donations to federal candidates and political parties and $10 million for advocacy groups, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

"During the period studied, Congress and executive branch agencies weakened federal oversight of the industry, strengthened patent protections, extended patents, granted tax credits and protected the industry's interests at home and abroad," according to the CPI.  PhRMA called the report "biased and one-sided."

- read this report from The Star-Ledger for more

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