Drug Industry's Glory Days May Be Over

The drug industry is bracing itself for major legislative changes once the new Congress sits. Forbes journalist Matthew Herper notes that, following the mid-term elections, major drug company shares have dropped by over 5%. Herper cites an analysts report from the Prudential Equity Group which warns that "Democrats are well positioned to force action on drug prices, and contrary to conventional wisdom, a [presidential] veto is not a sure thing." One bill already under consideration, co-sponsored by Republican Mike Enz and Democrat Ted Kennedy, is aimed at reforming the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The bill is a response to the withdrawal of Merck's drug, Vioxx, after it was found to increase the risk of heart attacks. Some drug industry leaders are despondent about the industry's image. The head of Astra Zeneca in the US, Tony Zook said "I think it's been easy to beat up on the drug industry."