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Policy prescriptions: The firepower of the EU pharmaceutical lobby and implications for public health

Corporate Europe Observatory                                                                

Executive summary

The pharmaceutical industry – including companies, associations and the top ten lobby firms they employ – have a declared lobby spend of nearly €40 million. That is around 15 times more than the lobby expenditure of civil society and consumer groups which work on public health or access to medicines. Although many pharma industry actors declare more realistic expenditure in the lobby register than three years ago, the real spending may be much more. Nonetheless, the top ten biggest spending pharmaceutical companies now declare €6 million more than in 2012, whilst the top eight European pharmaceutical industry trade associations declare seven times more. Moreover this powerful lobby has had a staggering number of meetings with European Commission departments and officials. The largest public-private partnership in the EU is with the pharmaceutical industry. Alongside its gargantuan resources and considerable access, the industry has an impressive lobbying arsenal. Its efforts are now focused on ensuring US-EU trade agreement TTIP furthers its profit-motivated agenda, including its property rights and to prevent vital data transparency for big pharma’s clinical trials.

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