Baxter spent over $900,000 lobbying in 3Q

By Associated Press
Posted Jan. 13 at 6:02 a.m.

Drug and medical device maker Baxter International Inc. spent $930,000 to lobby on health-care related issues in the third quarter, according to a disclosure form. The company’s lobbying budget was down slightly from $950,000 in the previous quarter. In the prior-year period, Baxter spent slightly more than $1 million on lobbying.

The Deerfield-based company lobbied on bills that would increase tracking of drug ingredients manufactured overseas. In 2008, Baxter was forced to recall all of its blood-thinning heparin drugs because of contamination that was later traced to a Chinese plant

The company also lobbied on an overhaul of the Food and Drug Administration’s system for approving low-risk medical devices.

Baxter lobbyists also advocated their position 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.

Baxter also lobbied for changes to the Medicare system that would make it easier to receive payments for certain equipment used in patients’ homes, including drug pumps. More than 47 million seniors receive health coverage through Medicare.

Besides Congress, the company lobbied the Centers for Medicare and the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies, according to an Oct. 19 filing with the House clerk’s office under the name Baxter Healthcare Corp.

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