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Big Pharma Companies Lobbying Against Medicare Drug Price Caps

Last updated on Friday, March 27, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Eli Lilly and other drug companies are mobilizing a public-relations campaign to head off congressional efforts to set drug prices.

Indiana is one of 10 states to form its own chapter of "We Work For Health," a coalition of drug companies, local governments and chambers of commerce playing up the medical miracles of drug research, and warning that research is in jeopardy if the government decides companies' profit margin for drugs purchased by Medicare patients.

Lilly CEO John Lechleiter says he's also concerned about a bill shortening the window of patent protection before generic drugs hit the market. Hoosiers Work For Health members also include Pfizer, Bayer and Roche Diagnostics.

As co-chairmen, the group has landed two of Indy's heaviest hitters: former Mayor Bart Peterson and Pacers Sports and Entertainment President Jim Morris.

Peterson warns thousands of jobs are at stake if the government interferes with drug pricing. Lechleiter says Lilly does support efforts to reform health insurance, and calls the current system unsustainable.

He says any changes should ensure greater access to medications.

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