David Prosser: Big pharma bites tongue on healthcare
Wednesday 24 March 2010
Outlook Why the eerie silence from Britain's biggest pharmaceutical companies? On Monday, after more than a year of horsetrading, the US House of Representatives finally approved President Barack Obama's healthcare reforms. Yet 48 hours later, Britain's three FTSE 100 pharma giants – GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Shire – have still not told us what they think.
This is a major shake-up of the biggest healthcare market in the world. All three companies have a significant exposure to it. But while The Independent has pressed GSK, AstraZeneca and Shire to give their verdict, none has been prepared to put their head above the parapet.
Cynical observers may conclude that their silence reflects satisfaction with the reforms tempered with caution about being seen to crow about something of such enormous political controversy.
Although the pharmaceutical industry will face some upfront costs from the reforms, it has avoided some of the more troublesome outcomes. Above all, there will be no price caps introduced on their products – and state-by-state negotiations on price will continue.
Compensating for the upfront hit, meanwhile, is the knowledge that these reforms will deliver in excess of 30 million potential new customers – drug sales should rise by 6 to 8 per cent within the next 10 years as a consequence of the legislation.
This has been a job of political lobbying well done. The American pharmaceutical association which represents the industry has spent heavily promoting the case for healthcare reform. No doubt our publicity-shy pharma bosses have been much more vocal in privately voicing their thanks.
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...
£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...