Health Bill Stall Creates Uncertainty For Drug Makers
"With the possible demise of health care legislation, getting back to business as usual may not be the best thing for the nation's drug makers," The New York Times reports. "After all, in return for the prospect of tens of millions of newly insured customers and a large degree of regulatory certainty, the pharmaceutical industry had agreed to pay a relatively small price: $8 billion a year in discounts and fees. It was a modest compromise for an industry with $246 billion in prescription drug sales last year. But now, with the health care overhaul on a back burner in Washington and possibly dead for this year, drug makers are getting a sinking sense of how a piecemeal public policy future might look for them."
For example, President Barack Obama's budget plan proposed "a new tax on profits from some patents and other intangible assets parked in overseas tax havens by American companies." The provision came as a surprise to drug makers and could be a major financial hit. "The industry giant Pfizer, for example, ... could be subject to the corporate 35 percent tax rate on at least some of its foreign profit in the future if the president's proposal goes through" (Wilson, 4/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.