“This is one of the reasons why well before I was running for president I said I would not take contributions from pharma companies, not take contributions from corporate PACs or pharma executives because they are part of this problem.”
–Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)
Like most of the other Democratic candidates, Booker vowed not to take corporate PAC contributions for his primary campaign.
His specific pledge regarding the pharmaceutical industry’s contributions came in June 2017, in response to criticisms about his relationship with the industry.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics:
An issue that may arise in the 2020 Democratic primary is the close relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and Booker. New Jersey hosts the headquarters of many major pharmaceutical companies and they have long had good relations with the New Jersey delegations. Booker said in 2017 that he would put “a pause” on accepting money from the industry. This was after he received heavy progressive criticism for helping kill a bill sponsored by Sanders to lower drug prices. In 2016, pharmaceutical PACs gave $57,500 to Booker. Becton, Dickinson & Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi PACs all contributed $5,000 each in 2016. Before that, in 2014, a cycle he was actually running in, Booker’s campaign took in $161,000 in pharmaceutical PAC money. Pfizer contributed $17,500, Merck & Co gave $12,500 and several more gave $10,000 each.