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Novo Nordisk spent $300K lobbying US gov't in 3Q

January 5, 2009
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WASHINGTON—Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk AS spent $300,000 lobbying the U.S. government in the third quarter, according to a disclosure report filed late last year.

The world's biggest supplier of insulin for diabetics lobbied on bills designed to improve the treatment of people with diabetes, create a national diabetes coordinator and reduce the incidence of diabetes, which has been surging along with the obesity epidemic.

Novo Nordisk also lobbied on legislation, widely opposed by the pharmaceutical industry, to allow government negotiation of prices paid for drugs for seniors under the Medicare program. Company representatives also lobbied on drug imports, patient safety protection, patent reform, disclosing industry gifts and payments to doctors, and a bill to reduce health disparities among minorities.

Like many other drugmakers, it also lobbied on bills that would allow generic drug companies to sell cheaper copies of biotech drugs. Unlike traditional chemical-based drugs, biotech drugs have never faced U.S. generic competition because the Food and Drug Administration lacks authority to approve the cheaper copies of them. An effort to give the agency that power stalled when lawmakers couldn't agree on how many years of patent protection to give biotech drugs.

Besides Congress, Novo Nordisk lobbied the Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Office of Management and Budget.

Among those registered to lobby for Novo Nordisk in the July-September period was Lauren Semeniuk, a former legislative director for Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., according to a report filed Oct. 16 with the House clerk's office.

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