Advertising Age, a magazine which bills itself as the “leading global source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities” estimates the pharmaceutical industry spent $9.7 billion dollars in 2016 marketing their products, with the lion’s share, 55.7%, going to television advertising. (October 17, 2016) That’s $5.4 billion dollars of advertising on your television screens EVERY YEAR.
By contrast, our recent Presidential election, looks like a pauper…
According to Bloomberg News (December 9, 2016), Hillary Clinton spent $1.191 billion dollars, while Donald Trump spent $646.8 million dollars for a grand total of $1.837.8 billion dollars to determine the leader of the free world for the next four years.
Assuming things just remain level with pharma advertising, that’s $38.8 billion dollars for the next four years, or TWENTY-ONE TIMES THE AMOUNT SPENT TO ELECT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
You might reasonably ask, who is control of America?
Okay, so that’s the media. What about Congress? I recommend a web-site called Open Secrets which looks at donations to Congress. According to Open Secrets, in 2016 the pharmaceutical industry reported lobbying expenses to Congress of more than $246 million dollars. ($246,333,814) The closest competitor was the insurance industry with nearly $153 million dollars. ($152,980,996) The left’s favorite bogeyman, the oil and gas industry are practically in the cheap seats with just under $120 million dollars in lobbying expenses. ($119,229,657)
Pharma funds the “right people” in Congress as well…
According to Open Secrets, the top member of Congress for pharmaceutical money was Senator Orrin Hatch (R) Utah, who got $310,199. Hatch is the longest serving Republican in the Senate and is currently President Pro Tempore of the body. Coming in at #3 is Congressman Paul Ryan (R) Wisconsin, Speaker of the House, who got $237,195 in donations. Coming in at #6 is Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R) California, Majority Leader of the House, with $125,500.