The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a lobbying group for pharmaceutical companies, spent almost $200,000 last month lobbying in Frankfort, according to the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission.
The group is opposed to legislation being pushed by
Gov. Beshear and* many in the legislature (Senate Bill 50) to require a prescription for dry tablets of pseudoephedrine, which is the key ingredient in making methamphetamine. CHPA spent just a fraction of this amount last year — $99,333 — to defeat similar legislation that required a prescription for all forms of pseudoephedrine, including gel caps.
In January alone, CHPA spent $194,958 on lobbying the legislature in Frankfort. The bulk of this went toward “Professional and Technical Research and Assistance” ($151,602 on patch through calls, phone banking and consulting fees) and “Educational and Promotional Items” ($26,962 on website development and operation).
In the entire year of 2011, only two lobbying groups spent more than CHPA did in January alone. That year, Altria (Phillip Morris) spent $304,257 and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce spent $266,900.
SB 50 narrowly passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today by a 6 to 5 vote.
* Beshear’s office notified us that he is “not pushing any bills related to pseudoephedrine; we are supporting bills related to prescription drug abuse (making KASPER more robust, more requirements for prescribers, etc.) but those have not mentioned pseudoephedrine specifically.”