Mapping Pathways is a multi-national project to develop and nurture a research-driven, community-led global understanding of the emerging evidence base around the adoption of antiretroviral-based prevention strategies to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The evidence base is more than results from clinical trials - it must include stakeholder and community perspectives as well.

24 September 2011

Obama Pushes More Competition on Biologic Drugs

via The New York Times, by Andrew Pollack

President Obama is not giving up when it comes to trying to introduce competition to expensive drugs made by biotechnology.

Tucked into the president’s deficit reduction plan released on Monday was a proposal to reduce the market exclusivity offered to brand-name biologic drugs to seven years, down from the 12 incorporated in the 2010 federal health care legislation.

That would allow so-called generic versions of such drugs to reach the market sooner, saving an estimated $3.5 billion in federal health spending over 10 years, or a little over one-tenth of 1 percent of the $3 trillion the president’s deficit reduction plan is supposed to save in a decade.

Biologic drugs are proteins made in living cells, like Avastin and Herceptin for cancer and Enbrel and Humira for rheumatoid arthritis. Such drugs can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year and are not subject to the same rapid onset of generic competition as drugs made in chemical factories, like Lipitor and Prozac.
The issue was a thorny one during the debate in Congress over the health care legislation.

The biotechnology industry argued it needed 12 years of freedom from lower priced competition to recoup research and development costs. Any less, it argued, would retard innovation. The generic industry, as well as many insurers and employers who pay health care bills, said a much shorter period would suffice.

Read the rest.

[Content that is linked from other sources is for informational purposes and should not construe a Mapping Pathways position.]

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