Cosmetic drug, eye care maker Allergan spent $310,000 lobbying Congress in 4th qtr of 2009

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Allergan spent $310,000 lobbying in 4th qtr 2009

WASHINGTON — Allergan Inc., which makes eye care products and Botox anti-wrinkle injections, spent $310,000 lobbying Congress in the last quarter of 2009, according to a disclosure form it filed recently with the House clerk’s office.

The Irvine, Calif., company lobbied on legislation to give the Food and Drug Administration authority to approve generic versions of biotech drugs. Unlike traditional chemical drugs, biotech drugs like Botox have never faced generic competition because the FDA lacks authority to approve cheaper copies.

The biotech industry has argued that its products must be protected for 12 to 14 years before competing with cheaper copies from generic companies so that their makers can recoup the costs of developing them.

The current versions of the health reform bill in the House and Senate give biotech products 12 years of protection.

The future of the health overhaul is unclear following an unexpected Republican victory for the Massachusetts Senate seat long held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy — costing Democrats the 60th vote needed to quickly move bills through that chamber.

The White House and Democratic leadership are working to pass the Senate health bill through the House.

Allergan also lobbied on “general discussions” related to its eye-care and eyelash drugs Lumigan and Latisse, according to the form, filed Jan. 20.

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