Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Big Pharma deals with Baucus on health care reform

Bloomberg notes:

New York-based Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies overcame attempts to torpedo a deal they made with Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Obama that limits their contribution to the overhaul to $80 billion over 10 years. Baucus joined with all the panel’s Republicans and Democrats Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Thomas Carper of Delaware to uphold the agreement with the drug companies. London-based AstraZeneca Plc has its U.S. headquarters in Delaware, while Menendez represents Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck & Co., among other companies.

The issue may still come up on the floor because some senators want the industry to contribute more to cut costs and raise revenue. If the pharmaceutical makers can keep the deal in place, they’ll come out ahead in the debate, analysts said.

“If you look at drug spending over the next 10 years, it will be something like $4 trillion,” said Uwe Reinhardt, a Princeton University economist who specializes in health care. “Well, $80 billion out of $4 trillion; what a bargain.”


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