PhRMA, the lobbying group that represents the pharmaceutical industry, had a banner year in 2017, bringing in $456 million, Axios reported Tuesday. Much of the total, which represents a 69 percent boost from the year before, came from an increase in membership dues.
Where did the money go? “Pretty much everywhere,” Axios’ Bob Herman and Caitlin Owens said, although conservative think tanks and advertising firms stand out as leading beneficiaries of the group’s enormous pile of cash.
The biggest single donation to a political group – $2.5 million – went to America First Policies, a “dark money” nonprofit that promotes Trump’s agenda. Another $1.5 million went to the American Action Network, which the Center for Responsive Politics says gave $22 million to the conservative Congressional Leadership Fund this election cycle.
But PhRMA spread the money around, giving to both political parties and to candidates all around the country at both the national and local levels – “presumably ensuring friendly faces will be located in plenty of places,” Axios said.