45. Flo Kahn
The pharmaceutical manufacturing industry has been a major political player in California for decades, drawing the most public attention when the costs of drugs take center stage, such as when the industry spent nearly $110 million to beat back Prop. 61 in 2016, which would have allowed the importation of cheaper prescription drugs. The industry is best known as PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and the person who directs PhRMA’s lobbying game is Floreine “Flo” Kahn, the deputy vice president of state advocacy, who coordinates the group’s lobbying through at least five major firms. She earlier handled state government affairs in the West for AbbVie, and before that she worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb. She worked on the staffs of several state Republican lawmakers, and served as a deputy chief of staff to then-Assembly GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (yep, that Kevin McCarthy), where she worked on such key issues as energy, water and workers’ compensation. She’s a UC Berkeley graduate in political science.
Updated Aug. 25, 2021