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AstraZeneca to leave leading U.S. drug lobby group

FILE PHOTO: A company logo is seen at the AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield

By Maggie Fick

LONDON (Reuters) -AstraZeneca has decided to leave the main U.S. drug lobby group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and pursue other ways of engaging in advocacy at the state and federal level, the company said.

AstraZeneca decided not to continue its membership after a recent assessment of whether it was "the most productive and effective use of (company) resources", a spokesperson for the British drugmaker said in an emailed statement.

PhRMA said in a separate emailed statement that AstraZeneca had decided not to renew its membership for the second half of 2023.

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The news, first reported by Politico, marks the trade body's third major departure in six months. AstraZeneca's exit follows those of AbbVie, maker of blockbuster arthritis drug Humira, and Teva, a leading manufacturer of generic drugs.

AstraZeneca will redirect the funds previously used on its PhRMA membership to continue U.S. advocacy efforts with state and federal policymakers, its statement read.

The U.S. is the largest national market for all big pharma companies. Drugmakers suffered a rare defeat last year in failing to stop the Inflation Reduction Act, which allows the government to negotiate prices on certain drugs.

(Reporting by Maggie FickEditing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)