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US lobbying, campaign contributions, and healthcare reform

As pointed out by Mr Robert Steinbrook in NEJM.org on 19 November 2009, interest groups are spending huge sums of money to influence the final US legislation and other matters pending in Washington. Since 2006, the health sector has spent US$1.7 billion lobbying Congress and federal agencies – more money than any other sector of the economy. Between January and September 2009, healthcare interests spent US$396.2 million. If current trends continue, the health sector is likely to spend more than half a billion dollars on lobbying in 2009. Pharmaceutical and healthcare products companies alone are likely to spend more than US$250 million, and the insurance industry, which is part of another sector, more than US$160 million. In all cases, these would be record annual expenditures.

Biopharma growing fast due to lower generics threat

Biopharmaceuticals, which are the fastest growing sector of the pharmaceutical market, are causing demand and manufacturing capacity issues, delegates heard at the Visiongain 3rd Annual Contract Manufacturing Conference meeting in London, UK, this week.

US drugmakers furious over price probe demands

US drugmakers have reacted with fury to two separate calls by Members of Congress for official inquiries into allegations of industry ‘price gouging’ in anticipation of healthcare reform.

Europe could beat US in biopharmaceutical innovation

Europe could overthrow the US as a leader in the biotech-drug industry if US lawmakers decide to shorten intellectual property protection for brand-name biologicals under proposed legislation, writes Ms Benedetto della Vedova, former member of the European Parliament, in The Wall Street Journal. A proposal to provide five to seven years of protection – shorter than Europe's 10 years – would stifle innovation and diminish the chance of US companies to be globally competitive, giving way for European firms to create the next generation of biotech treatments, Ms della Vedova writes.

Big Pharma seeks growth in emerging markets

China is the place to be for Western drugmakers seeking insurance against slowing growth, but plenty of other emerging markets are also tempting for Big Pharma, executives told the Reuters Health Summit.

Brand-name and generics firms fight over bulk drug supplies

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) expressed concern about the practices of brand-name drugmakers after generic drug companies complained they can not get bulk supplies of some medicines they want to copy.

Pharmaceutical sector back in the EU antitrust spotlight

The raids on 6 October 2009 on the premises of several pharmaceutical companies show that the European competition authorities are serious about taking action against suspected anticompetitive behaviour in the EU generics market.

Johnson & Johnson ‘buys’ to fight generic competition

Johnson & Johnson reported on 13 October 2009 that third-quarter revenue from pharmaceuticals fell 14.1% to US$5.3 billion (Euros 3.59 billion) compared to the prior-year period, due to generic competition and the negative impact of currency exchange. Net income for the three-month period increased 1.1% to US$3.3 billion (Euros 2.23 billion), due in part to reduced costs from job reductions and the consolidation of the company's management structure.

EU warns pharmaceutical industry of new competition probes

The European Commission warned the pharmaceutical industry yesterday to “look out for” new antitrust investigations over the coming months.

Pharma tempted into generics in emerging markets

With many western generics markets showing sluggish growth, the lure of big emerging economies such as India is proving irresistible to pharmaceutical companies looking for promising new outlets – and not only generics firms.

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