A massive lawsuit over the nation's opioid crisis has largely ignored an influential group of companies in the prescription drug business - the financial middlemen that brokered access to the powerful pills that got so many people hooked.
The pharmacy giant saw net revenues up 4% to $185 billion in 2017, and anticipates at least $1.2 billion in cash benefits in 2018 from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, half of which will be used to pay down debt.
With federal officials seemingly unwilling or unable to come up with legislation to control skyrocketing drug prices, that task is increasingly moving to the states. But so is pharma muscle and money opposing the measures.
Former congressional staffers who now work for drug companies often return to the Hill to lobby former co-workers or employees. This raises concerns that pharmaceutical companies could wield undue influence.