As part of his recent budget reduction plan, President Obama once again seeks to decrease the biotech drug market exclusivity from twelve years, as shoveled in under Obamacare, to seven years.
The biotechnology industry argued it needed 12 years of freedom from lower priced competition to recoup research and development costs. Any less, it argued, would retard innovation. The generic industry, as well as many insurers and employers who pay health care bills, said a much shorter period would suffice.
So if I read this correctly, the folks who develop new drugs say they need more time as the exclusive owner’s of their products in order to guarantee a return on their significant investment in the lengthy development process. On the other hand, the folks who want their formula to capitalize on their initial investments, the folks who pay for these drugs in service to their clients, and the folks who offer their employees health care plans, say they know better how much time/money is enough. Therefore, the President is seeking to use the force of government, not to protect the innovators' rights, but to benefit the other folks who say they have to pay too much for the benefit of other's innovation. Once again, he decides how much is enough.
This may lessen the cost of some drugs in the short run (this is not definitive as other companies have not picked up the biogenic drugs after they were available for copy), but it is an excellent way to insure that fewer companies will risk their capital on the development of new life-saving drugs.
How the President's political pandering, never-ending energies toward creating an unknowable and chaotic business climate, and elitist drive for picking the winners and losers as only a messianic statist can is still seen by some as progress is beyond me. After all, once the government controls all of the producers' incentives under the guise of for the people, individual choices will be meaningless – as will the extraordinarily enlightened values once enshrined within the country founded on the sanctity of individual rights.