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Drug makers face tougher measures in reform bill

Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2009

The House healthcare bill presents more problems for drug makers than legislation in the Senate, but it gives the medical-device industry better breaks. The variations in the bills underscore why healthcare companies have been lobbying vigorously on Capitol Hill. Billions of dollars are at stake, depending on which version is adopted. The drug industry took a big hit in the House bill. For elderly people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, the bill mandates rebates from the drug makers so that the Medicare system ends up paying less. Those rebates are estimated to cost the industry $60 billion over a decade.