Drug companies to offer donations to Democrats in 2020 US election

30 October 2020 (Last Updated October 30th, 2020 08:30)

Pharmaceutical industry in the US is set to allocate almost half of its political donations to Democratic candidates in this year’s election to be held next month as the firms look to drive away threat to drug prices if Democrats come to power.

Drug companies to offer donations to Democrats in 2020 US election
This year, Pfizer’s share of PAC donations for Republicans stood at 51%. Credit: Arek Socha on Pixabay.

The pharmaceutical industry in the US is seeking to allocate almost half of its political donations to Democratic candidates in this year’s election held next month as firms look to drive away threat to drug prices if Democrats come to power.

Data from non-profit Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) reviewed by Reuters showed that industry-run political action committees (PACs) divided approximately $13m between the major political parties in the country, with Republicans getting 54% and the remaining 46% going to Democrats.

Pharma majors such as Pfizer, Amgen, Abbvie and Johnson & Johnson made the biggest PAC donations this year, showing their shifted support toward Democrats between 2016 and 2020, CRP data revealed.

In 2016, 63% of Pfizer’s PAC donations went to Republicans while figures show that this year, the funds were cut down to 51%.

Signalling at a stark shift from the trend observed in 2016, the news agency reported that Republicans received nearly two-thirds of industry campaign donations during that year.

Though a long supporter of Republicans, during the congressional elections in 2018, the industry moved toward Democrats.

Even though senior executives in the pharma industry support Republican, workers supported Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden.

An industry executive who spoke on condition of anonymity said pharma companies aim to build relationships with politicians expected to come to power.

Drug manufacturers were intending to head off efforts by Democrats to slash drug prices paid by government-run health insurance programme Medicare, according to industry sources.

Even though there are concerns that the Trump administration is putting in political issues into regulatory decisions, experts agree to differ.

This industry-level shift shows a growing consensus that Democratic candidates will expand their hold on the House of Representatives and may win the Senate.

An estimate from the CRP revealed that the total cost of the 2020 election will nearly reach an unprecedented $14bn.