From The Scientist's Newsblog:

In an industry known for backing Republicans, Sen. Barack Obama has emerged as a surprising pharma favorite in the US presidential election.

In April, Obama won a mock election at the annual DTC national meeting, a drug advertising conference, with a 53% to 46% victory over Sen. John McCain. Drug companies have also put the money where their mouth is: Pharma has donated three times more to the Obama campaign than to McCain's.

According to a Bloomberg News report citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), pharma execs and employees have donated $450,094 to Obama, compared to $132,575 to McCain. CRP's Web site also lists figures for donations that include pharmaceutical companies and makers of medical devices and other health-related products: Obama is ranked as the top recipient of donations in that category with $848,001, while McCain is in fourth place (behind Clinton and Romney) with $347,375. It's a clear contrast to the 2004 election, in which drug industry donations to George W. Bush almost doubled those to John Kerry.

This year's top pharma donations come from Pfizer, Amgen, and Johnson & Johnson, according to CRP's website.