Rep. W. J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.), who today was named president
and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of
America (PhRMA), raised more than $218,000 in his campaign
account from pharmaceutical manufacturers over the past 15 years.
He collected increasing amounts over time from drug companies,
topping out at $91,500 in the 2002 election cycle. It was the
fourth-highest total from the industry to a member of the House
that cycle. It was also the first cycle for Tauzin as chairman
of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has
jurisdiction over the drug industry.
Tauzin raised $41,500 from pharmaceutical manufacturers in the
current cycle, even though he was not a candidate for
reelection. He collected $9,000 from the PhRMA political action
committee since 1997.
Drug companies have contributed $8.1 million since 2003 to
federal candidates and political parties, 69 percent to
Republicans. During the 2002 election cycle, when unlimited soft
money contributions to the political parties were still allowed,
pharmaceutical manufacturers gave $21.7 million, 80 percent to
The industry spends millions lobbying the federal government
each year -- PhRMA spent more than $8 million on lobbying in the
first half of this year alone. Drug makers also spend millions
more on nonprofits active in federal elections. Public Citizen
estimates that PhRMA poured $41 million into 501(c) groups in
2002. Such groups are not required to disclose their donors.
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