Thursday, September 8, 2016

Almost Two Full Years Later, Merck (Immaterially) Amends Its Q3 2014 Lobbyists Listings. Odd.

I'm not inclined to make too terribly much of this, but apparently on Tuesday, as we were all a little bleary from EBMP syndrome or "excessive barbequed meat poisoning" (or the itis, if you prefer!) Merck amended a nearly two year old so-called LD-2 form filing it had made -- at the Office of Public Disclosure, at the US Senate.

It is there that all the lobbying reports are filed and housed -- and made available for query style computer searches. The amount Merck spent in that quarter, as well as every issue upon which it lobbied Congress -- remained the same, between the old, and newly amended filings. [I know, because I just black-lined them, in Word.]

The only difference is that currently amended version -- as to lobbying both the House and Senate on "Section 340B (no specific bill), National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act (H.R. 1074, S.539), Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention Act (H.R. 3322), Oncology education (no specific bill), adult vaccine policies (no specific bill), medication adherence, DISARM (H.R. 4187), ACA Implementation (no specific bill), Hepatitis C education (no specific bill), HIV education (no specific bill), MODDERN Cures Act of 2013 (H.R. 3116), Prescription Drug User Fee Act (general planning), 21st Century Cures (no specific bill), Strengthening Medicare Anti-Fraud Measures Act of 2013 (H.R. 2925), Big data (general education), Alzheimer's education (no specific bill), biosimilars (general education, no specific bill), general pharmaceutical industry issues and education," now recites two fewer lobbyists' names, acting on behalf of Kenilworth, on these issues -- there were ten; now there are eight:

. . . .[Removed:] Tammie Brown. . . [and] James Carey. . . .

Again, unless these folks are now working on someone's campaign, I am not sure why such a small matter would be amended two years later. My hunch (WAG, actually) is that the two have perhaps taken roles in HRC's campaign -- which itself has now clearly taken a stand on drug pricing, and access. Much of the topics covered above no doubt expressed Merck's views -- through its lobbyists -- which are likely not consistent with those now supported by the presumptive next (45th) President of the United States. But as I say -- that is just my guess. I do believe it is still true, under existing lobby disclosure rules, that these folks would be required to disclose their prior lobbying on behalf of industry, should they become part of the new Administration, in January 2017. And perhaps, this is one topic (upon further reflection) they did NOT actually lobby for Merck on, back in later 2014. We shall see.


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