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Pharma furious after being "blindsided" in budget deal

Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

The pharmaceutical industry is livid about a surprise change to Medicare drug policy that was slipped into the Senate budget deal. The bill would close the Medicare Part D "donut hole" in 2019, a year earlier than previously scheduled, and force drug companies to shoulder most of the cost.

Between the lines: Drug companies weren't the only ones taken by surprise. Many lawmakers didn't know this was coming, either. Yet as far as prescription drug policies go, this one is comparatively innocuous for the industry.