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Drug industry scores with Trump victo...
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Sandeep Singh Dhillon
Drug industry scores with Trump victory – Washington Examiner
Pharma News, Pharma Notables

The pharmaceutical industry scored a win when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to claim the presidency Tuesday, avoiding a far-reaching set of proposals that would have clamped down on the industry from the Democratic nominee.

However, Trump’s win isn’t a complete victory for an industry that has ignited public anger and congressional investigations over high drug prices. Trump has hinted at several provisions aimed at lowering high drug prices, but they do not meet the far-reaching proposals of Clinton. In addition, Trump’s positions on trade could create mixed results for the drug industry.

The industry appears to be warming up to Trump as several major pharmaceutical stocks rose in the first day of trading after Trump’s victory and Republicans kept control of the Senate. Case in point is Mylan, a generic drug maker that sparked public anger by raising the price of the EpiPen by 600 percent. The company’s stock price rose nearly 5 percent Wednesday.

Other drug companies increased more, with Eli Lilly’s shares climbing nearly 6 percent and Pfizer 7 percent.

Trump has suggested giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, a policy popular with Democrats. If approved by Congress, the policy would have the most direct impact on drug prices, but that impact is hard to determine.

There are risks that negotiations could lead to price controls on pharmaceuticals, according to a report issued Wednesday by research consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The firm noted that negotiation could have a negligible effect on drug prices.

A 2007 Congressional Budget Office report found that Medicare negotiating power wouldn’t have much of an effect on prices. Medicare Part D, the program’s prescription drug component, already negotiates with drug makers for steeper discounts.

Trump’s policies don’t go as far as Clinton’s. The Democratic nominee proposed ending direct-to-consumer TV advertising of drug products and capping monthly and annual costs for drugs that treat chronic or serious heath conditions.

Other factors could affect the drug industry, however, and chief among them is trade.

Trump has promised to rip up the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which the pharmaceutical industry has opposed. Drug companies dislike the deal because it does not give drug makers 12 years of product exclusivity for biologic drugs.

A new trade deal could reinstall those exclusivity protections. However, other countries could decide to pull out of the trade agreement altogether, “making it more difficult and expensive for companies,” PricewaterhouseCoopers said.

Trump is also responsible now for choosing new leaders for the Food and Drug Administration, which has been criticized by Republicans and some Democrats for not approving drugs fast enough to foster a more competitive market.

Next year, the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA must reach a deal to reauthorize user fee programs for generic and brand name drugs and for medical devices.

Congress and Trump must approve any user feel deal before the program expires at the end of September.

The user fee deal often includes several pieces of legislation focusing on the FDA, and it could include legislation focusing on drug approval pathways.

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