Friday, October 17, 2014

Very Odd New Lobbying Disclosure -- Australia for Merck? Or, Is This The GERMAN Merck?

While it lists Merck Sharp Dohme as the client, CapitalHill Advisory (Sydney, Australia) shows a client address at 26 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park in NSW, Australia (wherever that might be -- likely New South Wales, as a postal code, presumably). However, at the bottom of the LD-2 disclosure form dated September 1, 2014, one Ms. Cathy Duncan, the person responsible for filing the form, indicates that the client is controlled by a "foreign entity" -- one residing at Frankfurter Strabe 250, but calling it Merck Sharp & Dohme, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany.

As my regular readers are quite well-aware, that would be. . . no relation to Merck (US). So the Merck Sharp Dohme name might likewise be. . . a case of mistaken identity. Ironic that a lobbyist would not know for "which" Merck it was conducting lobbying efforts, in DC. To add a little more mystery to the pre-Halloween mix, the claimed services are listed as "confidential". Well, that just isn't possible under US law. So, the form goes on to recite an Australian reimbursement practice which the client (whomever that might turn out to be!) would like altered -- see below:

. . . .Privileged & Confidential: The Australian Government's policy of initiating court proceedings to recovered [sic] damages from innovative pharmaceutical companies in cases where patents covering pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS)- listed medicines have been found invalid following an initial grant of an interlocutory injunction which delayed the launch of generic products. . . .

All quite. . . puzzling, no? I suspect this is not "our" Merck, at all. But as I type this, the third quarter reports of lobbying activity are trickling in. So expect a Merck Q3 total and analysis, in a few more days, here. Onward! Have a blast this weekend, one and all! I will with my last college kiddo, home for a short visit!

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