Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Drug Industry’s Lobbying Surge
New lobbying disclosures show that Big Pharma increased their lobbying spending during the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period last year, to stop reforms that would lower drug prices. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the top industry trade association which filed a lawsuit alongside the National Infusion Center Association and the Global Colon Cancer Association to block the implementation of Medicare negotiation, also increased their lobbying spending by 20 percent in the first quarter of 2024, to $9.6 million. Novartis, the drug manufacturer suing to stop Medicare from negotiating the price of its heart failure drug Entresto, boosted their lobbying spending by 44 percent during the same period. Recent quarterly earnings show that three other drug corporations filing lawsuits to block implementation of the Medicare negotiation program — AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Merck — reported $40.33 billion in combined revenue last quarter. Despite the drug industry’s claims that the historic drug price law would stifle their revenue, it appears that pharma has plenty of money to double down on lobbying efforts to continue to protect their unfettered pricing power. — (PoliticoAxiosFierce PharmaReutersAccountable.US)  

2. Court Watch 
Next week could bring new twists in Big Pharma’s legal efforts to stop the implementation of Medicare negotiation. AstraZeneca has until Tuesday to file a notice of appeal in its case, after a March ruling that rejected the company’s attempt to overturn Medicare negotiation. Then on Wednesday, PhRMA, the Global Colon Cancer Association, and the National Infusion Center Association will present oral arguments as they appeal the dismissal of their earlier lawsuit challenging Medicare’s negotiation authority. Thus far, judges have ruled three times in favor of patients over the pharmaceutical industry, and we continue to watch closely as the industry’s multi-million-dollar assault on the Inflation Reduction Act wages on. P4AD has launched the “US v Pharma” campaign (in English and Spanish), to mobilize patients and allies to defend this hard-won victory against Big Pharma’s relentless attacks. — (Endpoints NewsGeorgetown UniversityBioSpaceFightPharma.orgLuchaContraFarma.org

BONUS: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee launched an investigation this week into the high list prices of Novo Nordisk’s drugs for type 2 diabetes and weight loss, Ozempic and Wegovy, which cost $969 and $1,349 for a month’s supply respectively. Groundbreaking treatments coming to market must be fairly priced in order to maximize public health and lessen the financial burden of essential medicines for patients.