Clinton outpaces rivals in drug company
Send a link to a friend
[June 17, 2016]
By Ginger Gibson and Grant Smith
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) -
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has taken
more money from employees of America's 15 biggest pharmaceuticals
companies than all of the Republicans who attempted a run for the White
House this year combined, according to campaign finance disclosures.
The donations, which were nearly double those accepted by
Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, came even as the former senator and
secretary of state vowed to curb price gouging in the industry if
Clinton's campaign took nearly $240,000 from employees of the
industry between its launch and the end of April, compared with just
under $168,000 for all of the Republicans together, including around
$1,700 for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to
The money, a drop in the bucket of Clinton's nearly $190 million in
overall individual contributions, has tended to come from people in
top jobs: 54 percent of the donors list their position as executive,
director, manager or lawyer. Donors and company officials contacted
by Reuters declined to comment on the contributions.
Industry insiders say the sector may be drawn to Clinton for a few
reasons: She has a good chance of winning against Trump in November,
her policies are relatively transparent and predictable, and she's
more supportive of international trade than rivals.
Many of the biggest pharmaceuticals companies are also headquartered
in areas of the country that are more heavily populated by liberals,
like New Jersey and New York – another potential reason for the
Clinton-heavy employee donations.
“(Trade) is, in particular, an issue for the pharmaceutical
industry. They all operate trans-nationally,” said Dan Mendelson,
president of Avalere Health, a consulting firm that works with
companies across the health sector.
He added: "We have very limited ability to predict what would happen
in a Trump administration. We don’t know the people, we don’t have a
lot to go on."
Trump, who largely self-funded his primary bid, only recently began
soliciting donations for the general election, meaning his
contributions from supporters in all industries are likely to rise
in the coming months.
[to top of second column]
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton departs a
discussion on national security during a campaign stop at the
Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, Virginia, U.S., June 15,
2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Clinton tapped into widespread public frustration over soaring
health costs this winter when she outlined a plan to curb drug price
hikes and singled out pharmaceuticals company Valeant, saying she
would “go after them” if elected.
Trump’s campaign seized on Clinton’s donations from the industry as
proof that she would be unlikely to follow through.
"Hillary Clinton will be totally controlled by the special
interests," Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said.
Clinton has rejected the idea.
"Hillary Clinton has spent her career fighting to crack down on
rising prescription drug prices and hold drug companies
accountable," spokesman Josh Schwerin said.
Clinton's donations from drug companies have grown since the last
time she ran, in 2008, but fall far short of her rival in that race,
President Barack Obama, who took in more than $500,000 in
contributions from employees of pharmaceutical companies during the
equivalent period of time.
Clinton's total in this race so far, however, beats the combined
take in the 2012 election of Obama and Republican nominee Mitt
Romney from employees of the industry of $170,000, according to the
(Editing by Leslie Adler)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.