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5 Nov 2010

Pharma can gain and lose from D.C. power shift

As healthcare and pharma experts are finding that the Washington power shift will present some new challenges.

As healthcare and pharma experts sift through the aftermath of Tuesday's election, they're finding some promising possibilities--and recognizing that the Washington power shift will present some new challenges, too.

On the positive side: Drugmakers have the chance, as Eli Lilly chief John Lechleiter tells the Wall Street Journal, of persuading the GOP-led House to toss out the Medicare-payment advisory board, which is roundly decried in pharma circles. Then there's the chance to re-up on PDUFA, the user-fee system that allows pharma to fork over money for faster review of new-drug apps.

Meanwhile, the Republican's takeover of the house will shift committee-chair assignments, putting some industry-friendly folks in spots previously occupied by critics. For instance, Rep. Henry Waxman, who has been leading the Committee on Commerce, could be replaced by Rep. Fred Upton (Michigan), Cliff Stearns (Florida), or Joe Barton (Texas), Medical Marketing & Media reports. Me

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