Merck & Co. spent $2.3 million to lobby the federal government in the first half of 2007, according to a recent disclosure form.

The company’s lobbying activities were on legislation that would increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, and on patent reform issues. At least that’s what the drug maker put in a disclosure that was required to be filed.

A form posted online August 13th by the Senate’s public records office contained this information. Interestingly, Merck also lobbied against legislation that would impose government price controls on prescription drugs in the Medicare program, and on trade issues with various countries, according to the form.

Besides Congress, the company lobbied the departments of Commerce and State, and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. Under a federal law enacted in 1995, lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches. They must register with Congress within 45 days of being hired or engaging in lobbying.

Merck is not the only drug company that spends big bucks trying to buy influence with members of Congress and with the FDA.



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