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Merck spends nearly $1.2 million on lobbying in 2Q


WASHINGTON Merck spent almost $1.2 million lobbying on pharmaceutical issues in the second quarter of this year, according to a recent disclosure form reported on by the Associated Press. Merck lobbied Congress on a range of domestic and international issues affecting sales of prescription drugs, according to a form filed July 18 with the House of Representatives clerk’s office.

One example is that the company opposed a proposal by House Democrats that would have allowed the government to negotiate drug prices for seniors in Medicare.

Merck also opposed a patent reform bill moving through Congress. The pharmaceutical industry as a whole though has argued it will weaken patent protections on drugs by reducing infringement penalties. The bill has stalled in the Senate and is not expected to pass this year.

The company’s lobbyists also opposed efforts that would allow the United States to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other foreign countries. The issue has failed to gain traction in Congress, despite several hearings.

Besides Congress, Merck also lobbied the U.S. Trade Representative on protecting drug patents internationally during the quarter.

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