Women in Government
Women in Government (WIG) is a Washington D.C.-based 501(c)(3), non-profit "of women state legislators providing leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources to address and resolve complex public policy issues."  The bulk of WIG's sponsors in 2006 were from the drug industry and the energy sector.
In its 2005 annual report to the Internal Revenue Service, WIG explains that it conducted "regional forums on critical topic such as: cervical cancer prevention, green house gas reduction, cardiovascular disease prevention, domestic violence, and others".
Merck Vaccine Support
In early 2007, WIG came under scrutiny for supporting a lobbying campaign by one of its funders, the pharmaceutical company Merck.
Merck is "helping finance campaigns to get states to pass legislation that would make it mandatory for girls as young as 11 or 12 to receive" its human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, reported Associated Press. Merck has "given money to Women in Government, an advocacy group that includes female state legislators throughout the United States. Many of the state bills advocating the use of Gardasil have been introduced by members of Women in Government." 
According to the WIG website, the organization launched its "Challenge to Eliminate Cervical Cancer" in January 2004. In August 2004, WIG "announced the creation of the HPV and Cervical Cancer Policy Resource Center." 
WIG has also established a "Business Council which it describes as a group which "provide a private sector perspective to our programs" with members playing "an integral role in planning for future growth, have the ability to attend our regional conferences, and support the financial stability of the organization."  Members are:
- Majorie Maginn, Chair Vice President, Industry and Political Affairs Wellpoint, Inc.;
- Linda Alexander, Ph.D., F.A.A.N. Vice President, Women's Health Digene Corporation;
- Deborah Alfano, Executive Director, Health Policy and External Affairs Merck Vaccine Division;
- Marianne A. Becton, Director, Public Policy and Strategic Alliances Verizon Communications;
- Sara Tays, Southwest Government Relations Manager, ExxonMobil Corporation; and
- Elizabeth Seifert, Director Public Policy GlaxoSmithKline.
As well as staff from WIG:
- Susan Crosby, President, Women In Government;
- Lisa Kos, Senior Director of Development Women In Government; and
- Abby Mills, Development and Foundations Relations Manager, Women In Government.
In its 2005 annual report to the Internal Revenue Service, WIG reports that its total revenue was $2.426 million and expenses of $2.198 million.
On its website, WIG lists its 2006 sponsors as including:
- 2 Red Hens
- 3M Pharmaceuticals
- Abbott Laboratories
- Adeza Biomedical
- Allergan, Inc.
- Altria Corporate Services, Inc.
- Alzheimer’s Association
- American Diabetes Association
- Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
- The Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.
- AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
- Bayer HealthCare
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
- Bobby Hogue & Associates
- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Bose Treacy Associates
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
- Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association
- Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Foundation
- Digene Corporation
- Digital Healthcare, Inc.
- Discovery Health Channel
- Duke Energy
- Edison Electric Institute
- Electronic Data Systems
- Eli Lilly and Company
- Entergy Arkansas
- Highland Campus Health Group
- Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc.
- Ice Miller LLP
- Indiana Health Care Association
- Indiana Ophthalmology Association
- Indiana State Chiropractic Association
- Indiana State Medical Association
- Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives
- Insight Communications
- Johnson & Johnson
- KWK Management Group, LLC
- Lumina Foundation for Education
- Managed Health Services
- Merck & Company, Inc.
- Michigan Association of Health Plans
- Mullenix & Associates
- National Hemophilia Foundation
- National Life Group
- Nellie Mae Education Foundation
- Novartis Pharmaceuticals
- Novo Nordisk, Inc.
- Ohio Hospital Association
- Pepco Holdings, Inc.
- Pfizer, Inc.
- Procter & Gamble
- Rifkin, Livingston, Levitan & Silver, LLC
- Sanofi Aventis
- Schering-Plough Corporation
- Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- State Farm Insurance
- Third Wave Technologies, Inc.
- Verizon Communications
- Ward Health Strategies
- WellPoint, Inc.
- Wholesale Beer Distributors of Arkansas, Inc.
- Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
- Susan Crosby, President
Women In Government
2600 Virginia Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 333-0825
Fax: (202) 333-0875
Other SourceWatch Resources
- TBTAM, "Big Pharma and Women in Government - Partnering for HPV Legislation", The Blog That Ate Manhattan, December 21, 2006.
- Health Highlights: "Merck Pushing for Mandatory HPV Vaccination," Forbes, January 31, 2007.
- Andrew Pollack and Stephanie Saul, "Merck to Halt Lobbying for Vaccine for Girls," New York Times, February 21, 2007.