Health: Big Pharma and a Quid Pro Quo

 The Story:

Political Action Committees associated with large pharmaceutical companies active in the United States appear to be offering legislators generous campaign contributions tied to bills that beneficial to the bottom line of those companies, in something close to a naked quid pro quo.


Senator Thom Tillis (R, NC) is running for re-election to his US Senate seat this year, against Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham. Tillis has a cash advantage over Cunningham. His willingness to do the bidding of Big Pharma may have a lot to do with the size of that advantage.

Last year a bill before Congress, sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R – IA), sought to reduce the co-pays that seniors have to make under Medicare Part D.  When that bill bogged down, Tilis proposed an alternative, that was different from the Grassley bill in one critical respect. A key provision in the Grassley bill would have capped the price increases of covered medicines at the rate of inflation. The Tillis version omitted that cap.

The Thing to Know: 

Neither bill became law. But, according to campaign finance records, Tillis received $20,500 in campaign from the PACs in the days after the no-price-cap bill was filed.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.