While Congress Fiddles, Big Pharma Is in for Big Changes

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The debt limit deadline is Tuesday, and Washington is a weekend away from a spending and deficit bill acceptable to both parties. We update last-minute efforts to avert an unprecedented economic crisis.
Also, a wave of expiring patents on prescription drugs will have a major impact on the pharmaceutical industry and on US consumers. Prices for Lipitor and Plavix alone may drop by 80 percent, great for both employers and workers. But where will the money to invent new medications come from? We hear how the drug industry gets multiple patents on a single drug and "pays for delay" to hold off generic replacements.

Banner image: Pam Harvey fills a prescription at Adams Discount Pharmacy in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images



Warren Olney