Bloomberg: US Said to Mull Concessions on Drug Protections in China Talks

The Trump administration may concede to a Chinese proposal that would give less protection for US pharmaceutical products than they receive at home, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could draw opposition from the American drug industry.


The Trump administration may concede to a Chinese proposal that would give less protection for US pharmaceutical products than they receive at home, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could draw opposition from the American drug industry. Under the Chinese offer being discussed as part of wider trade talks, US pharmaceutical companies would get eight years of regulatory data protection in China for the biologics they develop, said two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private. That compares with the 10 years of protection they get in the new Nafta, which Congress hasn’t yet approved, and the 12 years they receive in the US. The move raises the possibility that, in the middle of a fierce US debate over drug prices, the Trump administration would give China a stronger mechanism to force down prices for some of the world’s most expensive drugs than the US has. Biologics refer to products made from living systems such as cells or tissues, as opposed to conventional drugs that have been chemically synthesized. Biologics are consistently among the highest-price drugs that pharmaceutical companies make.