Pharmaceutical Industry Executives Meet To Outline Legislative Strategy
Buoyed by Republican gains in the recent elections, pharmaceutical industry executives met last week to plan ways to "capitalize" on the electoral results by "securing favorable new legislation" and defeating congressional attempts to lower drug costs, the New York Times reports. The drug industry donated more than $30 million to House and Senate campaigns and to the national political parties -- Republicans received 75% of the funds -- and industry executives are now devising ways to "turn that influence into legislative victories," according to the Times. At a "strategic planning retreat" sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, drug company executives discussed how to block legislation that would "erode" profits either by controlling prices or increasing access to generic medications. The Times reports that the industry's main goal is to "shape" Medicare prescription drug benefit legislation because of concerns that such legislation may include a drug formulary or price controls. The industry also is opposing legislation that would hasten the approval and marketing of generic medications. Other legislative agendas for the industry include the following:
- Reimportation: The industry "adamantly" opposes legislation that would make it easer to reimport less-expensive prescription drugs from Canada.
- Direct-to-consumer advertising: The industry is opposed to efforts to curtail industry advertising on television and in print media.
- Liability: The industry wants to limit damages in lawsuits from patients who claim they have been injured by drugs.
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