Sunday, February 10, 2008

Healthcare: Would Big Pharma Be Any Better Off with McCain?

Originally, I had planned to blog here about whether Romney or McCain would be better for Big Pharma. Unfortunately, Mitt withdrew before I had a chance to prepare it. In fact, my last blog about Obama and Clinton still assumed that the Republicans still had no frontrunner. Even with the instantaneous nature of this blog it’s difficult stay abreast of everything that’s happening.
But, let me return to today’s topic, would Big Pharma be any better off with McCain? Unfortunately, for Big Pharma, the answer is no. Let me take two quotes from Senator McCain’s website ( ). First, he said in a speech, “Pharmaceutical companies must worry less about squeezing additional profits from old medicines by copying the last successful drug and insisting on additional patent protections and focus more on new and innovative medicine.” Now that would put a real crimp in most large pharmaceuticals’ business models. The recent drug company raids in Europe conducted by the European Union probably were based on a similar theory. In the same speech, McCain continues, “Drugs are an important part of medicine, of course, and are often quite expensive. Here in Iowa the Attorney General is suing seventy-eight drug companies accusing them of inflating drug costs paid by Iowa taxpayers through the Medicaid system. Problems with costs are created when market forces are replaced by government regulated prices. If drug costs reflects value, fine. But if there are ways to bring greater competition to our drug markets by safe re-importation of drugs, by faster introduction of generic drugs, or by any other means we should do so. If I'm elected President, we will.” OK, now this is the guy who claims to be the conservative candidate for President. And, just in case, he hasn’t been clear enough about it, a recent Business Week article quoted McCain describing himself among the “great enemies of the pharmaceutical companies in Washington.” Additionally, McCain is a proponent of permitting Medicare to negotiate for discounted prices with drug companies. The Wall Street Journal has pointed out that retirees are major contributors to McCain’s coffers. Cheaper drug prices are clearly very important to them.
This is another reason why Big Pharma is in for some tough sledding for the next decade. The party normally associated with being pro-business is doing nothing for Big Pharma. The country’s concerns with healthcare seem to be driving towards a consensus that’s crossing party lines. That consensus will shake Big Pharma to its very core.
Please contact us at We look forward to hearing from you.

Contributed by Guy de Lastin

No comments: