WASHINGTON -- At a national convention of state legislators in Boston this month, Novartis spon sored a reception for women lawmakers, AstraZenca financed two luncheons and employees from Bristol-Myers Squibb and other drugmakers pressed their views at panel discussions. "There was a visible presence by the pharmaceutical companies, but they also operated out of the limelight, behind-the-scenes, to have one-on-one time with individual legislators," said Sharon Anglin Treat, a former Maine state senator and now head of the nonprofit National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices. The lobbying at the National Conference of State Legislatures' conclave came as drugmakers find themselves on the defensive, facing tighter regulations and restrictions in many states. Some 500 pharmaceutical-related bills and resolutions have been filed in statehouses around the country since the start of the year -- an average of 10 per state.
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