Skip to content

Drugmakers Funnel Millions In Campaign Donations To Lawmakers

Since the beginning of last year, 34 lawmakers have each received more than $100,000 from pharmaceutical companies. Two of those — Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican majority leader, and Greg Walden of Oregon, a key Republican committee chairman — each received more than $200,000.

Republicans are not the only beneficiaries of drugmaker largesse, however. In California, seven of the top 10 recipients are Democrats, including Rep. Linda Sanchez, whose $144,500 in pharmaceutical contributions puts her second to McCarthy among Golden State congressional members. Rep. Scott Peters, also a Democrat, tallied more than $100,000 in drug company donations, as did Rep. Mimi Walters, a Republican.

California’s senior U.S. senator, Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, has received $35,000 in pharmaceutical money since the start of 2017. The state’s junior senator, Democrat Kamala Harris, has received nothing from the industry. In April, Harris joined other Democratic 2020 presidential prospects vowing not to accept money from corporate PACs.

As voters prepare to go to the polls, they can use a new database, “Pharma Cash to Congress,” tracking up to 10 years of pharmaceutical company contributions to any or all members of Congress, illuminating drugmakers’ efforts to influence legislation.

For more, read Emmarie Huetteman and Sydney Lupkin’s coverage.