May 17, 2012

Drugmakers Spent Record Amount Lobbying In Kentucky To Weaken Anti-Meth Bill

Drugmakers Spent Record Amount Lobbying In Kentucky To Weaken Anti-Meth BillAs we reported back in February, the over-the-counter drug association known as the Consumer Health Products Association (CHPA) spent $194,000 in January alone to battle legislation that would require a prescription for certain cold medicines so as to combat the spread of ingredients commonly used to make methmethamphetamines.

The bill was eventually watered down after protests by legislators close to the drug industry, but it was signed into law by the governor late last month.

Now, lobbying figures have been released and it’s been revealed that CHPA broke the record in the state for special interest lobbying, spending almost half a million dollars on lobbying within the first three months of the year.

When asked about this lobbying, Sen. Tom Buford (R), who opposed the anti-meth bill, defended CHPA:

I would not want to restrict anyone’s ability to voice their opinion because I think you move into a dictatorship when you do that,” he says. “It really sounds an exorbitant of money when you look at it, but if you go to Washington D.C. they’re spending hundreds of millions.”

Of course, when the Average American looks at a special interest group having much more an ability to “voice” its “opinion” thanks to having half a million dollars to spend on the issue, they probably feel like a bigger problem is the “tyranny of the Big Check,” as former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer (R) likes to say.
It’s also worth noting the small detail that drug companies like Merck were one of the top donors to Buford’s campaign.