Friday, October 12, 2007

WSJ picks up my BrandweekNRX story on Pfizer CEO supporting Hillary.

Pharma CEOs Divide Political Loyalties

Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler has donated a couple grand to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, a post over on Brandweek NRX points out.

Not terribly surprising, perhaps, given Clinton’s new ideas on health care, and Kindler’s history of donating to Democrats. But it’s sure a switch for Pfizer’s top brass. Kindler’s predecessor Hank McKinnell showered his dough on Republicans (with few exceptions), according to data from the Federal Election Commission. (Enter “McKinnell” on this page at the FEC to see for yourself.)

But it’s always interesting to learn how pharma fat cats are using their cash to play politics — especially at a time when Washington’s buzzing about health care. So the Health Blog did a little digging at this Center for Responsive Politics web site to see what other drug company CEOs are up to. Here are a few interesting tidbits:

  • Pfizer’s Kindler isn’t afraid to put some money on a longshot — in addition to giving $2,300 to Clinton, he gave $2,300 to Chris Dodd, a presidential candidate and senator from Kindler’s current home state, Connecticut. Dodd’s chances of becoming president are about the same as torcetrapib becoming Pfizer’s next blockbuster.
  • Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer has been ladling out gravy left and right — $26,000 to the Republican Senatorial and Congressional campaign committees, and another $26,000 to the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional campaign committees. On top of that, he’s given to Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney and assorted senators. Makes sense for a guy running a company whose cash-cow anemia drugs have been facing lots of scrutiny in Washington.
  • Abbott Laboratories’ Miles White, on the other hand, is a party-line man. He gave $15,000 to the Republican Party of Illinois (where Abbott is headquartered), $5,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and smaller donations to Senator Ted Stevens (R-Ak.), Congressman Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The data go back to the beginning of this year, and were downloaded from the SEC on Sept. 24. So there may be some donations that aren’t captured here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the U.S. corporations have to have an *in* with government. After all, in the U.S. we have government by capitalism for capitalism. The much touted *democracy* was never present. It is, after all, a REPUBLIC. If we look at the running crowds in both parties, we see that Republicans are in disarray, with no clear cut frontrunner, and, while Democrats have a number of options, Hillary is the frontrunner. Kindler - and Pfizer - have to have easy access as lobbyists - and it looks like their contact will be Hillary. Do not be concerned, if another candidate suddenly starts moving up, they will donate equally to him. It has NOTHING to do with democrats vs Republicans. As Lou Dobbs says pointedly, these two parties are opposite wings of the same lame bird. And if Kindler thinks a little beyond the tip of his nose, he may also have figured out that Universal Health Care will mean that everyone is insured - not the case today - and that part of the insurance premium for Universal Healthcare will be going to pharmaceutical industries (meds people need, and which will be covered). All in all, looks like Kindler is spending the Pfizer money appropriately. More sales at an overall slightly reduced price, still will mean larger in pocket profits, for the simple reason they will be able to engineer it that way.