Our Next President and Healthcare Policy

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"Both candidates paint this as a vitally important election between leaders with starkly different views of policy and governing. So if the fate of the life sciences potentially hangs in the balance, what are we likely to see in the months ahead?"

Here we sit less than a week from the election. You probably made up your mind long ago about which way you'll vote, and if you're anything like me, your decision is about more than one issue or even one area of policy. But whether or not things go your way--right now it's a toss-up who will win--it makes sense to think about what the future will bring. Both candidates paint this as a vitally important election between leaders with starkly different views of policy and governing. So if the fate of the life sciences potentially hangs in the balance, what are we likely to see in the months ahead?

A Repeal of Obamacare? This is really unlikely. President Obama, obviously, intends to stand by his signature legislation if reelected. Governor Mitt Romney, meanwhile, would need a majority vote in both the House and Senate to get a repeal. While he'd be likely to find that support from the House, winning a repeal vote from the Senate will very likely mean gaining the votes of Democrats and/or Independents. Moreover, he'd probably have to win a filibuster-proof supermajority of 60 Senators to really push through a repeal, which is a longshot at best.

FDA Funding Up or Down? This summer, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act was signed into law. It extends user fee programs for drugs and medical devices, and establishes a similar authority for generics and biosimilars. This seemed to make just about everyone happy--it received lopsided support in Congress and won praise from pharmaceutical, biotech, and device industry organizations.

Those user fees help the agency hire more reviewers, inspectors, and other staff. But the law also requires more from the agency in terms of inspections and action, and not everyone thinks the money being directed at hiring more employees will be sufficient. . .View Full Article

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