A Look at Drug Company Spending, Influence in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ In Virginia and in states across the country, drugmakers that produce opioids and allied advocacy groups are spending heavily as they work to influence state and federal policies.

A joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that drug companies and allied groups spent more than $880 million nationwide between 2006 through 2015 on campaign contributions and lobbying expenses at the state and federal levels.

Pharmaceutical companies have been pushing legislation in statehouses across the country that require insurers to cover abuse-deterrent formulations of drugs, which can’t be crushed into powder and snorted.

A state commission in Virginia is currently studying the issue after a bill backed by Teva Pharmaceuticals was approved in 2015.

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