Apr 26, 2019 - Economy

U.S.-China trade talks include a blow to Big Pharma

The Trump administration may agree to China's demand that biologics receive only 8 years of market exclusivity as part of a trade deal, a blow to the drug industry, Bloomberg scooped.

What's new: Top U.S. negotiators have told drug companies that China isn't budging from its position, and are pushing the industry to accept the deal.

Background: Biologics get 12 years of market exclusivity in the U.S., and the administration secured a 10-year agreement as part of the trade deal it reached with Mexico and Canada last year (which hasn't yet been approved by Congress).

Between the lines: Obviously, drug companies don't like this. The longer an exclusivity period a drugmaker has, the longer it can enjoy monopoly pricing before a competitor can come to market.

  • Some are frustrated by the administration's approach, Bloomberg reports.
  • Democrats have already criticized the 10-year protections included in the Mexico-Canada deal, saying they ensure higher drug prices in all three countries. If a trade deal with China includes only 8 years of protection, it could weaken the administration's position as it pushes Congress for approval.

Bonus: Bloomberg also had a great story yesterday on nonprofits that receive drug industry funding, and then push for pharma-friendly policies.

Go deeper: China wants its own pharma industry, but has a long way to go

Go deeper