Generic drugs may gain from stronger Democrats

generic drugsNEW YORK (Reuters) - The newly empowered Democrats' vow to cut healthcare costs might spell bad news for the brand-name pharmaceutical industry, but could provide new momentum for generic drug rivals, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Tuesday.

Boosting the generics industry may prove to be a politically palatable way to follow up on the party's campaign promises, the paper reported.

It quotes Jake Hansen, a vice president at generic drug manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., as saying that because of the shift in Congress, next year could be the most important year to the generics industry since 1984 -- when Congress passed the law that opened the door to the modern generics business.

Earlier in November, Barr Pharmaceuticals Chief Executive Bruce Downey told Reuters that Democrats might be more likely to pass legislation that sets a path for approval of cheaper copies of biotech medicines, a major priority for generic manufacturers.

A top official at rival generic maker Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. told Reuters both parties had become supporters of the less-expensive drugs as a means to control rising health-care costs.

source - Reuters