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Obama Administration in 2011
President Barack Obama and his administration can be expected to express fervent support for the biopharma industry and point to several accomplishments to that effect. But do the deeds match the words? On the one hand, Obama enacted patent reform sought by industry groups through the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. Additionally, Obama’s administration pressed ahead, successfully, with NIH endorsement of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines; as of December 19, NIH had approved 138 hESC lines. However, that exercise may be moot depending on how a federal court rules in the new year on whether federal funding of hESC research can take place. Obama also failed to persuade Congress to reduce from 12 to seven years the data-exclusivity period for originators of biologic therapeutics, and movement on the FY 2012 budget front has been slow going. How would you rate the Obama administration’s performance.