Dems Get Higher Doses of Drug Company Donations

McCain's scorn, growth of government programs behind shift in support
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2008 4:43 PM CDT
In 2002, $22 million of $30 million donated to politicians by big drug companies went to Republicans; this year, Democrats have gotten half of the $17 million given.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pharmaceutical firms have been a stalwart Republican ally—$22 million of the industry’s $30 billion in contributions went to GOP congressional candidates in 2002—but drug makers are increasingly supporting Democrats, Jeanne Cummings reports in Politico. Programs such as President Bush’s prescription-drug plan mean half of pharmaceutical sales are controlled by the government, and big pharma depends on those programs staying well-funded—familiar territory for Democrats.

Drug firms have hedged their bets this year, evenly splitting $17 million among Democratic and Republican congressmen. While still willing to support their former congressional allies, the companies are flatly opposed to John McCain, who has buttressed his maverick image by railing against the industry since primary season. Instead, pharmaceutical firms split $1.4 million between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.