2212811_2009081817_largeNot too long ago, a bipartisan group of senators in the United States introduced legislation that could spell big problems for the pharmaceutical industry.  The “Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act” is a piece of legislation being pushed through the Senate to immediately reduce drug prices for consumers, which will ultimately force the Bio-Pharma Industry to have to drastically reduce the price of drugs here in the United States.  According to the Congressional Budget committee, this piece of legislation could ultimately save the American consumer upwards to 50 billion dollars over the next decade.  However, some in the pharmaceutical industry are crying foul.

Many pharmaceutical consultancy firms are seeing this as a big headache for the pharmaceutical industry.  They see this move by the federal government as being very poorly timed, as the pharmaceutical industry, which was a booming field for so long, has started to face some major setbacks.  The pharmaceutical industry, already suffering from losses coming from cheaper, generic medicines, doesn’t know if it can take another 50 billion dollar hit over the next ten years.  Along with many important patents expiring in the next few years, and sparsely populated drug pipelines, this measure is causing plenty of headaches in the pharmaceutical industries executive branch.

Another part of the bill, that is getting less publicity, could be even more damaging to the pharmaceutical industry.  The other section of bill outlines a plan that mandates that drugs may be imported to the United States, only if they are imported from FDA approved manufacturing plants.  Now this would sound like a pretty reasonable stipulation, if the United States imported its drugs from a lot of FDA approved manufacturing sites.  But as of right now, only about 1 in every 13 foreign plants are inspected by the FDA, and some fear that in lesser developed countries like India and China, they would face an even tougher time passing inspection.

India and China are some of the fastest growing drug makers on the globe, but they are also some of the least inspected.  There is no doubt that their pharmaceutical industries would be hit hardest by this measure.  However, not everyone feels this measure has enough teeth to really make any substantial change in the quality of imported drugs.  Many critics are citing the lack of oversight in many of these foreign countries, as well as widespread corruption, and doubt that these widespread FDA inspections will really make any impact.

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