Lobbying giant PhRMA reported revenues of more than $600 million in 2021, a new record for the group.

by Donald Shaw, Sludge

In 2021, as Americans consumed record amounts of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals, the drug industry’s chief lobbying group surpassed $609 million in revenues, according to tax documents obtained by Sludge.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA) $609 million in revenue in 2021 is a new record for the group, which has been rapidly growing  in recent years. In its 2020 filing, it reported revenue of $573 million. Its revenue has more than doubled in the past five years.

People in masks walking by the signs outside the Pfizer Building on 42nd street.

In 2021, PhRMA also spent more money than ever on lobbying the federal government, reporting to Congress expenditures of more than $29.3 million. Combined with political expenditures, PhRMA’s 2021 tax filing says it spent more than $205 million on non-deductible lobbying. This sum includes amounts spent on influencing legislation, intervening in political campaigns, communicating with government officials, or attempting to influence the general public. PhRMA spent more on federal lobbying in 2021 than just two other organizations, according to OpenSecrets.

Americans’ use of medicines has steadily grown over the years. According to research by IQVIA Institute, the use of medicines in the U.S. grew by 9.6% over the last five years. Overall, spending on U.S. medicines rose by 12% in 2021, primarily due to COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, according to IQVIA.

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