What Do Big Pharma's Deep Pockets Buy? : Shots - Health News The cost of influencing the health care debate? $40 million and counting, according to the drug industry.

What Do Big Pharma's Deep Pockets Buy?

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While it's no surprise that the pharmaceutial industry is spending lots of money to lobby Congress on health care this year, what are they getting in return?

An analysis by NPR's Dollar Politics team of Andrea Seabrook and Peter Overby finds that America's biggest drug makers spent $40 million lobbying Congress over the last three months.

That's $40 million in the last three months -- far ahead of other health care lobbying expenditures, as reported so far.

But it's more than the dough, it's what that money bought: an army of lobbyists to swarm Capitol Hill, and possibly the strength to keep a few key issues they don't like off the table, like government price controls and re-importation of drugs from Canada.

Check out the interactive graphic illustrating the firms the drug industry trade group alone spent.