'

Today's Debate: Is Pharma pity party warranted?

The industry admits to having attracted $47 billion in venture capital over the last year, and biotech firms now have $500 billion in capitalization. Yet they're complaining. Should they be?

PHRMA logoBig pharma went to Weston, Florida, a town pulled out from what was the Everglades, and held a pity party this week.

Technically the event was the 10th BioFlorida conference, a celebration of networking for the state's biotech industry.

But the report of Stephen Pounds in The Palm Beach Post sure reads like a pity party:

  • 46 states enacted "anti-industry" legislation in the last year, complained Phrma lobbyist Christopher Badgley.
  • Drug salesmen at Miami's public hospital have to register as lobbyists.
  • Washington is pressing the industry to allow "generic" versions of early biologic drugs.
  • New Jersey is investigating payments made to doctors testing new drugs.

The industry faces drug-price controls, limits on patient access to new treatments, drug-safety concerns, mounting clinical-trial disclosure rules and changes to intellectual-property laws, Badgley concluded.

It's not all bad. The industry admits to having attracted $47 billion in venture capital over the last year, and biotech firms now have $500 billion in capitalization. Yet they're complaining.

Should they be?