New report: pharma executives are funding GOP senators, including Cornyn, over presidential candidates

by | Sep 3, 2019 | Health Care, Politics

Sen. John Cornyn is among two Republican lawmakers heavily supported by pharmaceutical CEOs, a new STAT investigation finds. The senator received $50,600 from pharmaceutical CEOs who, according to the health news outlet, are trying to thwart a bill in Congress that lowers prescription drug prices.

“The focus on Congress comes as drug executives are holding back on donations to presidential candidates,” STAT reported on Tuesday. “No major industry executive has contributed to a Democratic presidential contender or President Trump’s reelection campaign, according to the review. Instead, the executives are using their considerable personal wealth to fund GOP lawmakers playing key roles in the Senate’s ongoing consideration of a bill to lower drug costs, which is projected to cost drug companies $85 billion in revenue in the next decade.”

The Texas senator is of particular importance to drug companies because of his powerful committee assignments, like the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee, which both handle matters related to pharmaceuticals. In 2018 Cornyn voted no on a generic drug bill that would have made prescription drugs more competitive and cheaper to afford. The bipartisan bill was ultimately defeated (unrelated to Cornyn’s vote) and was re-introduced again in 2019

Additionally, Cornyn scored a win for pharmaceuticals earlier this year by watering down a bill that would have allowed the Federal Trade Commission to sue brand drug makers who tried to keep generic alternatives off the market.

This year, Cornyn has received $115,500 from pharmaceutical and health industry-related PACs, federal election commission reports show.

Photo credit: Loren Elliott/Getty Images | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at

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