Pharma Lobbying

Lobbying activities activities of the pharmaceutical industry can be tracked through the website of the federal Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada; more than 70 pharmaceutical representatives are listed in the registry of lobbyists. Some info on US pharma lobbying is below.

For example, this site shows that in the month of November 2011, the pharmaceutical industry was involved in no fewer than 50 lobbying events in Ottawa up from 29 events in November 2010.

Annual pharmaceutical lobbying events increased, dramatically autumn 2010 and early 2012. The annual totals are 126 for 2009, 146 for 2010, 290 for 2011, and 290 for 2012.

The chart below shows the monthly totals, which reflect activity when the House is sitting, but clearly indicate a burst of activity since October 2010.

What were these meetings about?

Were they about the drug shortage?

OR were these lobbying events about the $150M investment of taxpayer money into the brand-named pharmaceutical announced by the federal government on 15 March 2012?

OR were they about Canada’s patent laws?–one theory holds that they are related to the consequences of trade agreements with Europe and with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. One opinion of what should be done to our patent laws appeared in CMAJ in March 2012. In July 2013, Maclean’s magazine reported that the Canadian government was leaning toward supporting the pharmaceutical industry in its bid to extend patents over the opposition of poorer countries and Medecins Sans Frontières. A July 2013 report commissioned by the Fraser Institute (a right-wing think tank) argues that Canada should extend patent protection even though it will mean higher drug prices.

Contact your MP.

If you are having trouble seeing this graph, please let us know.

pharma lobbying to jun 13


A brief summary of pharma lobby in the US appeared here in late 2018:

‘[T]he pharmaceutical lobby …  spent $171.5 million in 2017 and boasts two lobbyists for every member of Congress. Nine out of 10 members in the House and 97 of 100 U.S. senators accepted campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies seeking to impact legislation, including both senators from Washington State.’

Niran Al-Agba, We can save lives from overdose – but maybe not at this cost [on safe-harbour kickbacks], Kitsap Times, 10 December 2018.