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Health Care Reform May Affect Bioscience Policies
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Governor Jodi Rell and Congressman Chris Murphy met today with local and national leaders in the field of bioscience to discuss how that industry might be affected by proposed health care reform legislation being debated in Washington. WNPR’s Ray Hardman has more:

National bioscience leaders went through provisions in the current versions of health care reform and how they may affect the bioscience industry. Of particular concern is the revision of patent protection for pharmaceuticals. Currently these companies have 20 years from inception before generic versions can be made by outside companies. Various versions of the health care reform bill scale that back anywhere from 12 to 5 years.

Paul Pescatello is the President and CEO of CURE, Connecticut’s bioscience cluster. He says any reduction of patent protection will have a negative affect on Connecticut’s bioscience industries especially when it comes to venture capitalism:

"Right now, the VCs are feeling poorer, they're not writing checks... Overlaying that is the healthcare legislation, and that adds a huge amount of uncertainty. How will intellectual propety be treated going forward? Will the companies be able to price their medicine so that they can be able to recoup their investment?  And until that uncertainty is clear, it gives them another reason not to put more capital into the research and development, and so that's slowing down the R&D in Connecticut."

The roundtable also looked at the future of bioscience industries in Connecticut, and their importance to the state’s economic recovery.

For WNPR, I’m Ray Hardman.