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Eshoo and Barton Team Up to Block Generic Biologic Medicines

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In a few minutes, Representatives Anna Eshoo and Joe Barton will team up to block the registration of generic biologic medicines. They are doing this by way of an amendment to the health reform bill that will replace a very good provision drafted by Henry Waxman to one backed by PhRMA, BIO and several companies lobbying on this issue.

This Eshoo/Barton amendment on "Biosimiliars" is one of several big disappointments in the health reform legislation concerning cost control for medicines. With PhRMA running ads supporting the bill, there is little mystery about what is happening.... a complete collapse of the Democrats frequent campaign promises to protect consumers from high prices for new medicines.

The Eshoo/Barton amendment, which has the support of many newly pro-PhRMA democrats, will extend the period of monopolies for biologic medicines, when compared to the original Waxman text. The only question is how long. Part of the harm will be the longer period prohibiting generic suppliers from relying upon evidence that medicines are safe and provide therapeutic benefits. Much of the other harm will come from a number of technical changes in the bill that make it much easier for incumbent firms to block entry through technical issues, extended litigation, and ever-greening of protection from small medically unimportant changes in protected medicines.

In the period leading up to this moment, the biotech and pharma industry has spent millions, much of it hiring well known democrats, such as Howard Dean, to push the anti-consumer amendment.

Update
The vote took place at 5:15 pm. 47 aye, 11 no This was a very larger democrat shift from the Waxman approach to the PhRMA/BiO backed Eshoo/Barton amendment. Quite a show of power by the drug companies.

I'll post the roll-call after the vote.

Update 2:
The roll call vote is here:
http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090731/hr3200_eshoo_2_rc.pdf

Based upon the count released by the committee, voting for the Eshoo Amendment were 26 Democrats and 21 Republicans. Voting against were 1 republican (Deal) and 10 Democrats. 1 Republican did not vote.

Democrats - 10 Nay votes
Henry A. Waxman, CA, Chair Nay
John D. Dingell, MI, Chair Emeritus Nay
Frank Pallone, Jr., NJ Nay
Lois Capps, CA Nay
Jan Schakowsky, IL Nay
Anthony D. Weiner, NY Nay
Kathy Castor, FL Nay
John P. Sarbanes, MD Nay
Betty Sutton, OH Nay
Peter Welch, VT Nay

Democrats - 26 Yeah votes
Edward J. Markey, MA Yeah
Rick Boucher, VA Yeah
Bart Gordon, TN Yeah
Bobby L. Rush, IL Yeah
Anna G. Eshoo, CA Yeah
Bart Stupak, MI Yeah
Eliot L. Engel, NY Yeah
Gene Green, TX Yeah
Diana DeGette, CO Yeah
Mike Doyle, PA Yeah
Jane Harman, CA Yeah
Charles A. Gonzalez, TX Yeah
Jay Inslee, WA Yeah
Tammy Baldwin, WI Yeah
Mike Ross, AR Yeah
Jim Matheson, UT Yeah
G.K. Butterfield, NC Yeah
Charlie Melancon, LA Yeah
John Barrow, GA Yeah
Baron P. Hill, IN Yeah
Doris O. Matsui, CA Yeah
Donna M. Christensen, VI Yeah
Christopher S. Murphy, CT Yeah
Zachary T. Space, OH Yeah
Jerry McNerney, CA Yeah
Bruce L. Braley, IA Yeah

All Democrats 26 10

Republicans - 1 Nay vote
Nathan Deal, GA Nay

Republicans - 22 Nay votes
Joe Barton, TX, Ranking Yeah
Ralph M. Hall, TX Yeah
Fred Upton, MI Yeah
Cliff Stearns, FL Yeah
Ed Whitfield, KY Yeah
John Shimkus, IL Yeah
John B. Shadegg, AZ Yeah
Steve Buyer, IN Yeah
George Radanovich, CA Yeah
Joseph R. Pitts, PA Yeah
Mary Bono Mack, CA Yeah
Greg Walden, OR Yeah
Lee Terry, NE Yeah
Mike Rogers, MI Yeah
Sue Wilkins Myrick, NC Yeah
John Sullivan, OK Yeah
Tim Murphy, PA Yeah
Michael C. Burgess, TX Yeah
Marsha Blackburn, TN Yeah
Phil Gingrey, GA Yeah
Steve Scalise, LA Yeah

All Republicans 21 1

Did not note:
Roy Blunt, R-MO