Readers Divided on Obama Administration’s Helpfulness to Biopharma During 2011
GEN online readers are about evenly split on how helpful the administration of President Barack Obama had been to the biopharma industry during 2011. While a clear plurality (46.4%) said the administration was of “not much” help to biopharma, equal portions of respondents (25% each) agreed Obama was “very” or “somewhat” helpful, with 3.6% undecided. Obama and his administration can be expected to express fervent support for the biopharma industry and point to several accomplishments to that effect this re-election year. Obama enacted patent reform sought by industry groups through the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, and pressed ahead with NIH endorsement of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines; as of December 22, 2011, NIH had approved 142 hESC lines. But a federal court will decide this year whether federal funding of hESC research can take place. And Obama also failed to persuade Congress to reduce from 12 to 7 years the data-exclusivity period for originators of biologic therapeutics.