Top 20 healthcare lobbyists by 2021 spending through June

Healthcare organizations spend vast sums each year on lobbying to advocate for policies that will benefit their members or businesses. In fact, no other sector of the U.S. economy spends more on lobbying than the healthcare sector does, according to OpenSecrets. In 2020, the healthcare sector spent more than $623 million on lobbying, and from January through June 2021, it spent upward of $331 million on lobbying.

Here are the top 20 healthcare organizations that lobby Congress and federal agencies, ranked in order of greatest to least in 2021 spending from January through June.

Note: Lobbyist spending information is from OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan research organization, and based on data from the Senate Office of Public Records.

  1. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (Washington, D.C.) — $15,218,000
    • PhRMA was founded in 1958 to represent biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies. It works to align public policy and medical research and is led by CEO Stephen Ubl.
  2. American Hospital Association (Chicago) — $12,121,176
  3. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (Chicago) — $12,018,300
    • The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is the parent organization of 35 BCBS companies across the U.S. The company provides health insurance to 1 in 3 Americans, according to its website. The association is led by President and CEO Kim Keck
  4. American Medical Association (Chicago) — $10,880,000
    • Led by CEO and Executive Vice President James Madara, MD, the American Medical Association is the largest physician and medical lobbying association in the U.S.
  5. Pfizer (New York City) — $6,670,000
    • Founded in 1849, Pfizer is today one of the preeminent biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the world. It is led by Albert Bourla, PhD, chair and CEO, and ranks 77th on the Fortune 500.
  6. Biotechnology Innovation Organization (Washington, D.C.) — $6,560,000
    • The world's largest biotechnology advocacy association, BIO was founded in 1993 as the Biotechnology Industry Organization, later rebranding itself in 2016 to the current form. BIO is led by President and CEO Michelle McMurry-Heath, MD, PhD.
  7. America's Health Insurance Plans (Washington, D.C.) — $6,410,000
  8. Roche Holdings (Basel, Switzerland) — $5,850,000
    • The largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Roche boasts a workforce of more than 100,000 employees. Severin Schwan serves as the company's CEO.
  9. Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, N.J.) — $4,810,000
    • Merck is a global pharmaceutical company that provides prescriptions, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products in more than 140 countries. It employs more than 70,000 and is led by Kenneth Frazier, chair of the board, and Robert Davis, president and CEO. The Fortune 500 ranks Merck No. 65.
  10. Amgen (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) — $4,720,000
    • Formerly known as Applied Molecular Genetics, Amgen is a biopharmaceutical company traded on the Nasdaq, Dow-Jones Industrial Average, and the S&P 500 as AMGN. It is led by Robert Bradway, chair, president and CEO.
  11. Cigna Corp. (Bloomfield, Conn.) — $4,310,000
    • Cigna is a multinational healthcare and insurance company ranked 13 on the Fortune 500, with a 2020 net income of $8.49 billion. President and CEO David Cordani leads the company.
  12. Horizon Therapeutics (Dublin, Ireland) — $4,100,000
    • Headed by Timothy Walbert, chair, president and CEO, Horizon Therapeutics is operationally a Chicago-based company whose sales are almost entirely within the U.S. Legally, however, Horizon is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
  13. Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) — $3,970,000
    • Novartis is a Swiss pharmaceutical, eye care and generics company created in 1996 through the merger of chemical and dyes company Ciba-Geigy and chemical company Sandoz. It employs 120,000 people and sells products in more than 180 countries, with a 2020 net income of more than $8 billion. Vasant Narasimhan, MD, serves as CEO.
  14. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (Chicago) —  $3,962,553
    • PCMA is a trade association representing third-party administrators of prescription drug programs. JC Scott serves as the association's president and CEO.
  15. Gilead Sciences (Foster City, Calif.) — $3,910,000
    • Founded in 1987, Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on research and development of antiviral drugs used to treat HIV, influenza, and hepatitis B and C. The company is led by CEO Daniel O'Day.
  16. AbbVie (Chicago) — $3,770,000
    • Traded on the New York Stock Exchange as ABBV, AbbVie was founded in 2013 as a spinoff of Abbott Laboratories. The company reported more than $11 billion in income for 2020.
  17. Eli Lilly & Co. (Indianapolis) — $3,735,000
    • Eli Lilly is a pharmaceutical company started by Civil War veteran Colonel Eli Lilly in 1876. The company now conducts research and development in six countries and employs more than 33,000 people around the world. It is headed by David Ricks, chair, president and CEO.
  18. Aflac (Columbus, Ga.) — $3,300,000
    • Aflac, the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the U.S., was founded in 1955. Officially the American Family Life Assurance Company, it is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as AFL and is headed by Dan Amos, chair and CEO.
  19. Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, N.J.) — $3,280,000
    • Johnson & Johnson is a consumer health, medical device, biologics and pharmaceutical company that operates in more than 60 countries. Alex Gorsky is the chair of the board and CEO. The company is listed at No. 36 on the 2021 Fortune 500. Johnson & Johnson employs more than 134,000 people and claimed over $14.7 billion in net income for 2020.
  20. GlaxoSmithKline (Middlesex, U.K.) — $3,180,000
    • GlaxoSmithKline is a British pharmaceutical company that researches and develops pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. It is researching medicines and vaccines for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. At the helm are Sir Jonathan Symonds, chair, and Dame Emma Walmsley, CEO.

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