Boston Scientific spends $400K lobbying in Q1
Boston Scientific spent $400,000 lobbying the federal government in the first quarter of 2008, according to a recent disclosure form filed with the U.S. House clerk's office.

Specifically, the Associated Press (AP) reported that lobbyists promoted the company's view on a bill aimed at overhauling the U.S. patent system.

Software and electronics developers support legislation that passed the House last year, which would cut down on unnecessary patent-infringement lawsuits, according to the AP. However, the medical device and pharmaceutical industries have argued it will weaken patent protections on their products by reducing infringement penalties.

The bill is currently stalled in the Senate.

Boston Scientific also has lobbied for greater access to foreign markets, including Japan, Korea, China, Brazil and countries in the European Union, the AP said.

In addition, the AP reported that the Natick, Mass.-based company lobbied for a bill that would require drug and medical device manufacturers to disclose gifts given to physicians by their salespeople.

The medical device industry's trade association endorsed the legislation last month after its sponsors agreed to make several revisions, including raising the amount of gifts that companies would have to disclose to $500 from $25.

The form also said that Brenda Becker, a former assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney, was among those lobbying on Boston Scientific’s behalf in the first three months of the year, according to the AP.