Abbott lobbying budget rises to $910,000 in 3Q

By Associated Press
Posted Jan. 4 at 10:49 a.m.

Drug and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories spent $910,000 in the third quarter to lobby the federal government on policies affecting its products.

The North Chicago, Ill.-based company’s spending was up from $650,000 in the second quarter and $770,000 in the prior-year period.

Abbott lobbied on a bill aimed at updating the U.S. patent system. The pharmaceutical and medical device industries have argued that reform efforts must not weaken patent protections on medical products by reducing infringement penalties. The reform effort has largely stalled in Congress.

The company also lobbied on bills designed to improve the FDA’s system for monitoring food safety and preparations for a flu pandemic. Separately the company lobbied on child nutrition programs sponsored by the federal government. Abbott sells the leading infant formula, Similac.

Abbott lobbied on funding for government programs to screen and treat patients with AIDS and hepatitis, diseases for which the company sells test kits.

The company’s advocates also lobbied on a bill that would prohibit agreements between brand-name and generic drug firms that delay the launch of low-priced generic alternatives to drugs already on the market. Regulators say the agreements are anti-competitive, though both generic and brand-name drug manufacturers argue they are a necessary business practice.

Abbott also lobbied on various tax and trade issues.

Along with Congress, Abbott lobbied the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a disclosure form filed with the House clerk on Oct. 20.

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