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Oregon Legislators not Immune to Influence of Money on Health Policy

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Pharmaceutical companies invested more than $150,000 in the 2002 campaigns of Oregon legislators who watered down or blocked bills designed to save consumers money in the 2003 session. The top five recipients--or 10 percent of the 50 legislators who received money from the pharmaceutical industry in 2002--received nearly half of the industry's contributions.

That money was dwarfed by the $615,490 pharmaceutical interests spent to lobby legislators in 2003. In 2002, the pharmaceutical industry contributed nearly five times more money to legislators' campaigns than it had in 1998 and more than doubled lobby spending in Oregon since 1997.