A new report found that after vetoing AB250, a bill that would have lowered the price of Medicare-negotiated prescription drugs for all Nevadans, Joe Lombardo raked in nearly $100,000 in campaign cash from big drug companies. Prior to his veto, which “cited many arguments made by the [pharmaceutical] industry,” Lombardo had only received $11,000 from pharma interests. When given the opportunity to choose Nevadans over special interests, Lombardo put political self-interest over helping Nevadans.

“Democrats held big drug companies accountable when they passed legislation to lower prescription drug prices,” said Nevada State Democratic Party Communications Director Tai Sims. “The truth is that with a stroke of a pen Lombardo could have lowered the price of prescription drugs for all Nevadans, but instead he vetoed groundbreaking legislation and sold out Nevada families, all for his own selfish political gain. While Nevadans struggle to pay for prescription drugs, Joe Lombardo continues to deposit checks from his true beneficiary: big drug companies.”

Read more about Big Pharma’s contributions to Lombardo below: 

Nevada Independent: Big pharma, big bucks: Analyzing how (and why) the industry donates to Nevada politicians

By Eric Neugeboren

Key points:

  • Nevada Republicans received significantly more money from the pharmaceutical industry last year than Democrats, with Gov. Joe Lombardo making up the majority of his party’s haul, according to a Nevada Independent analysis of campaign finance data.
  • Republican candidates and the party’s affiliated PACs received more than $140,000 from the industry last year — much more than they did in 2022 — while Democrats received around $29,000, around one-tenth of the party’s haul the year before.
  • Democrats are quick to link the donations to Lombardo’s veto of a bill last year aimed at expanding prescription drug price negotiation that the industry strongly opposed.
  • Since 2017, the industry — defined in this story as more than 20 pharmaceutical companies including CVS, Walgreens and Pfizer — has poured nearly $7.5 million into the coffers of political candidates and committees (a total greater than what typically well-funded personal injury law firms gave over the same time period).
  • Nonpartisan groups (namely a PAC funded by the industry’s top lobbying firm that supports both parties) received the most money, followed closely by GOP candidates and committees, which had nearly double the haul of Democrats since 2017.
  • Introduced in the 2023 legislative session, AB250 was designed for Nevada to piggyback off the federal Inflation Reduction Act — which allowed Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs — by applying those price caps statewide, not just to those on Medicare. 
  • The pharmaceutical industry staunchly opposed the legislation for seeking to adopt federal price caps without state-level reviews. The bill passed the Legislature with Republicans opposed, and Lombardo vetoed the legislation while citing many arguments made by the industry.
  • Months later in late 2023, Lombardo received and one of his associated PACs received more than $80,000 in political donations from groups that opposed the drug pricing legislation after receiving minimal support from the industry while he was running for governor the prior year. 
  • A spokesperson for Lombardo did not respond to a request for comment.


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