No Surprise that Mitch McConnell Standing Strong for Big Pharma

STAT: Top Republican blasts McConnell for derailing bipartisan drug pricing bill

The Hill: Asked why more Republican senators have not signed on to his bill …Grassley [said], “Because McConnell’s asked them not to. Leadership doesn’t want it to come up”

CNBC: GOP Sen. Grassley says Mitch McConnell sabotaged support for his drug pricing bill

WASHINGTON – Today, Restore Public Trust Director Lizzy Price released the following statement following news that Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) publicly admitted that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is blocking legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and is urging other Republicans to do the same. 

“There are few politicians more beholden to Big Pharma than Mitch McConnell, so it’s no surprise that he is doing everything he can to protect their profits and block any progress toward reducing the cost of prescription drugs. Although Big Pharma is certainly happy that their million-dollar investment in Mitch McConnell is paying off, patients across the country are demanding that senators push Big Pharma and their allies aside and move quickly to pass the House-passed Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019.”

2007 To Present: McConnell Has Received $972,999 in Campaign Contributions from Pharmaceutical Companies 

USA Today Reported That McConnell Had Recently Seen An Uptick In Contributions From The Pharmaceutical Industry. “Congressional leaders, who also help fund the campaigns of party members, are a common target of pharmaceutical industry contributions. And with Republicans controlling what legislation comes up in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also running for reelection, has seen an uptick in donations: He received more than $85,000 during the first half of the year, a record for him over the course of the past eight years.” [USA Today, 8/26/19]

Sen. McConnell Has Received $972,999 in Campaign Contributions from Pharmaceutical Companies Since 2007, Including $85,386 This Cycle. [KHN Campaign Contribution Tracker, Pharma Cash to Congress, 9/3/19]

McConnell Has At Least 19 Former Staff With Ties To Pharmaceutical Industry

Jessica Abrahams Interned for Sen. McConnell in 2002 and Chaired Dentons’ Government Contracts And Global Public Procurement Practice From 2015 to 2018. Abrahams also worked in the Government Contracts Practice at McKenna, Long & Aldridge from 2004 to 2015, during which time the firm represented pharmaceutical companies, but Abrahams herself did not, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. [, Abrahams, Jessica; Abrahama LinkedIn Profile]

  • Dentons US Represented Pharmaceutical Companies During Abraham’s Tenure. In 2017, Dentons US represented PhRMA. In 2015 and 2016, in addition to PhRMA, the firm represented Adapt Pharma, AmerisourceBergen Corp, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, and Purdue Pharma.  [, Lobbying Firm Profile: Dentons US, 2017, 2016, 2015]

Hunter Bates Worked for Sen. McConnell as His Legal Counsel (1997-99), Chief of Staff (2000-2002), and Campaign Manager in 2002. [, Bates, G Hunter]

  • In 2016, Bates Joined Akin Gump, Where He Has Lobbied on Behalf of Pharmaceutical Companies, including BIO (2017-2019) and Gilead Sciences (2018-2019). [, Lobbying Profile Firm: Akin, Gump et al]
  • In 2013, Bates Founded Republic Consulting that Included Clients BIO and Eli Lilly. From 2013 to 2016, Bates represented BIO. In 2016, he also represented Eli Lilly. [, Lobbying Firm Profile: Republic Consulting]
  • Bates was the President of Bates Capitol Group. The firm represented BIO and Amgen during his tenure from 2011 to 2013. Bates had founded the firm in 2003. [, Lobbying Firm Profile: Bates Capitol Group]
  • From 2007 to 2010, Bates was a Partner at C2 Group and represented Amgen and BIO, among other clients. [, Lobbying Firm Profile: C2 Group]
  • C2 Group acquired Bates Capitol in 2007. [Washington Business Journal, 7/31/07]

Melissa Elaine Bartlett was a McConnell Intern in 1995 and Has Represented Pharmaceutical Companies. Bartlett is a principal at Chamber Hill Strategies since 2017 where she has lobbied for Akebia Therapeutics and BioMarin Pharmaceutical. She also was the director of Federal Government Affairs for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals from 2010 to 2011, and later worked as AVP of Government Relations for Sanofi. [, Melissa Elaine Bartlett; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Melissa Bartlett; Bartlett LinkedIn Profile]

Daniel Boston Worked as an Aide to Sen. McConnell from 1989-90 and Works at Lobby Firm that Has Represented Biogen and Abbott Laboratories. Since 2004, Boston has worked at Health Policy Source and represented Biogen (2004-2006), Abbott Laboratories (2009-2012). [, Boston, Daniel; Lobbying Firm Profile: Health Policy Source]

Robin Bowen Worked as a Legislative Assistant for Sen. McConnell from 1991-1999 and Later Worked at Lobbying Firm that Represented Pharmaceutical Companies. Bowen worked at McDermott, Will & Emery from 2001 to 2010. Though she is only listed as a lobbyist in several of those years, she did not represent any pharmaceutical company. However, the lobbying firm itself represented pharmaceutical clients such as AstraZeneca, Allegan, Eli Lilly, Genesoft Inc, and Roche Group during that time period. [, Bowen, Robin J; Lobbying Firm Profile: McDermott, Will & Emery; Bowen LinkedIn Profile]

Jennifer Michele Connelly, a Former Legislative Assistant to Sen. McConnell (1999-2000) Was Executive Director of Government Affairs for Biopharmaceutical Company Alkermes, Previously Lobbied for Biopharmaceutical Company Cephalon (2006-2009). [, Connelly, Jennifer Michele]

Brendan Dunn, Sen. McConnell’s Policy Adviser and Counsel (2012-2018) Now Works for Akin Gump and Represents Some Pharmaceutical Companies Like Amgen and BIO. Dunn is currently at Akin Gump where he represents clients including pharmaceuticals Amgen, as well as pharmacy benefit manager CVS Health. In 2018, he also represented BIO. [, Dunn, Brendan; Lobbying Firm Profile: Akin, Gump]

Lesley Elliott, a Former McConnell Legislative Correspondent, Was a Lobbyist at C2 Group/Bates Capitol Group Where She Represented Pharmaceutical Company Amgen. Bates Capitol Group was founded by McConnell alumnus Hunter Bates. Elliott was a registered lobbyist there from 2006 through its acquisition by C2 Group, and appeared as a registered lobbyist for Amgen each year through 2012. . Elliott is currently the Founder and Principal at District City Consulting. [, Elliott, Lesley; Lobbying Firm Profile: Bates Capitol Group;]

Janet Mullins Grissom, McConnell’s Chief of Staff 1985-1989, Represented Pharmaceutical Companies at Peck, Madigan. These clients included: Novartis (2014-2015), Amgen (2007) and BIO (2014). [, Grissom, Janet Mullins; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Janet Grissom]

Megan Hauck was Health Policy Adviser to Sen. McConnell. “Megan Hauck has spent her career shaping public policy and advising officials at the highest levels of government. She has developed a unique skill set combining in-depth knowledge of policy, Senate procedure, and the complex budget process. Prior to launching Nathanson+Hauck, Megan served most recently as Health Policy Advisor to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). She worked directly with members of the Republican Conference to develop health policy addressing Medicare, Medicaid, and FDA reauthorization. Megan was the chief architect of the Senate Republican Conference strategy on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.” [, About Us]

Chase Hieneman Interned for McConnell in 2010 and Lobbied for Pharmaceutical Amgen at Republic Consulting (2016). Hieneman is now at the Carlyle Group. [, Chase Hieneman; Hieneman LinkedIn Profile,, Hieneman, Chase]

Megan Spindel Jackson Interned for McConnell in 2002 and is Currently the Director of Federal Government Affairs and Policy at Alkermes Inc Since Dec 2016. [, Megan Spindel Jackson]

Former McConnell Aide Hazen Marshall is Now Lobbyist for Several Pharmaceutical Companies Including PhRMA, Amgen, and Sanofi. Hazen Marshall is a founding partner of Marshall & Popp, along with Monica Popp. Marshall “served as the Policy Director for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a role in which he participated in the planning and execution of all Senate Republican legislative and political strategies” where he touts his efforts to get the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted. Currently, Marshall is registered to lobby for several pharmaceutical companies including PhRMA, Amgen, and Sanofi. [; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Hazen Marshall;, Marshall, Hazen]

Malloy McDaniel Served as Sen. McConnell’s Policy Advisor (2007-2009) and Now is a Lobbyist at West Front Strategies Where He Has Represented Pharmaceutical Companies Like Mylan. McDaniel has been a registered lobbyist for Mylan since 2011. [, McDaniel, Malloy; Lobbyist Firm Profile: West Front Strategies]

Brian McGuire, Sen. McConnell’s Former Chief Speechwriter, Deputy Communications Director, and Chief of Staff at Brownstein Hyatt Where He Represented Clients Like AbbVie, Amgen, Baxter International, Johnson & Johnson, and Safe Rx. [, McGuire, Brian; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Brian McGuire; McGuire LinkedIn Profile]

William H. Piper, McConnell’s Former Chief of Staff, Was Registered to Lobby for Pharmaceutical Companies. Piper’s work at Fierce Government Relations has included representing clients such as Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, and Verax Biomedical. [, Piper, Billy; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, William Piper]

Kyle Simmons, McConnell’s Former Chief of Staff, Lobbied on Behalf of Pharmaceutical Companies. Simmons has represented PhRMA through his work at The Ingram Group LLC (2011-2013), The Simmons & Russell Group (2014-2019). While at the Simmons & Russell Group, Simmons also represented Eli Lilly (2017-2019). [, Simmons, Kyle; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Kyle Simmons]

Michael Solon, Former McConnell Policy Director, Has Lobbied on Behalf of Pharmaceutical Companies. At his firm Capitol Logistics, Solon represented Amgen (2008-2009). [, Michael Solon; Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Michael Solon]; Solon LinkedIn Profile;, Solon, Mike]

Cate Thorin, a Former McConnell Legislative Correspondent (2006-2008), Currently Lobbies for Novozymes North America. [, Thorin, Cate]


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