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Biden vows to protect Obamacare and increase reliance on quality generics Posted 20/11/2020

President-elect Joe Biden plans to protect and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, the public health insurance scheme passed in 2010 by then President Barack Obama. Over the last few years, the Affordable Care Act has been under relentless attack [1], and the US Supreme Court is currently considering a case attempting to strike down the law.

President-elect Biden plans to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing healthcare costs, and reducing the complexity of the healthcare system. One aspect of reducing costs will be improving the supply of quality generics, and President-elect Biden supports numerous proposals to accelerate the development of safe generics, such as Senator Patrick Leahy’s proposal to make sure generics manufacturers have access to samples of the branded product.

Increasing reliance on generic drugs and biosimilars may be good news for India’s large generic drug companies which depend on the US for 60% of their exports revenue. The US imports almost US$7 billion worth of formulations from India per year, with every third tablet coming from India. An increased scope of access to affordable health insurance would also increase demand for generics.

However, some experts warn that these are early days and any impact of the new administration on the industry will only be seen after January 2021. The industry is closely watching what stance the president-elect will take with regards to the source of generic medicines, and hope that he will not pursue President Donald Trump's push for 'made in America' medicines. President Trump issued an executive order in August 2020, telling federal agencies involved in the procurement of essential medicines, medical countermeasures and critical inputs to ‘prioritise purchase of such items from domestic manufacturers to reduce the country's dependence on foreign manufacturers’.

Reference
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. US health care needs fixing [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2020 Nov 20]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Policies-Legislation/US-health-care-needs-fixing 

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