Big Pharma Loves ACA
Big Pharma loves the Affordable Care Act. Why not? The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) promises to deliver what analysts predict are 32 million or more new, pill-popping customers.
At the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) annual meeting on Thursday, PhRMA President John Castellani told MarketWatch that the trade association organization is not eager to go back to the drawing board on health care reform if the ACA is struck down:
The Supreme Court decision is very important but if you look over a long period of time… the fiscal condition of the country is going to force Congress to look at a whole set of the issues that are encompassed in the Affordable Care Act.
Castellani said that the decision’s timing would not affect debate about the larger issues, “like how do we deal with Medicare, how do we deal with the states over Medicaid expansion, and so on.”
If the ACA is struck down, the industry will need to rework the regulatory process for generic drug approval with the government, a lengthy process established as part of the ACA. The industry is complaining, but not about the increased customer base already at 300 million people and where 30 percent profit margins are common.
PhRMA’s outgoing chairman, Sanofi Pharmaceutical CEO Chris Viehbacher, told the audience Thursday that overturning the bill would “have a massive impact on our businesses.”
This is in contrast to two years ago when Billy Tauzin, another outgoing PhRMA president, led the industry's negotiations on health care reform with lawmakers. Tauzin said that drug makers could accept the ACA, as they apparently have done. "While we're not totally happy," Tauzin said, "we generally feel like it tracks with ou[r] principles."
Back then, Tauzin expressed concern that “a federal advisory board created by the legislation would end up limiting patient choices.” as Dow Jones Newswire reported -- a concern shared by supporters of Health Care Compacts.
Two years later, it sounds like Big Pharma has made its peace with the legislation, which -- after all -- delivers a new captive audience. Maybe there’s a pill for that?
Source: "Big Pharma not big on scrapping health-care reform," MarketWatch, April 13, 2012.
Source: “Pharma Industry Dodges Threats in Health Care Bill,” Dow Jones Newswire, reprinted at ADVFN.com, March 21, 2010
Image courtesy of Rennett Stowe and is used under a Creative Commons license.
Katie McCaskey is a freelance writer and small business owner.