WASHINGTON - Politicians and federal policy analysts in the nation's capital are taking a closer look at the potential impact of health care reforms on drug companies' ability to raise revenues and investment funds for R&D.

The Congressional Budget Office gave no scoring on the budget impact of the breakthrough drugs committee and Medicare drug blacklist provisions of the Clinton health care plan when it unveiled its analysis of the plan last week. But the office has embarked on a study of the plan's effect on drug companies' return on investment in R&D, CBO budget analysts told BioCentury.

In addition, the Government Accounting Office, an executive branch agency, is undertaking a similar study, according to a staff member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The GAO could not be reached to confirm this report Friday because a recorded message said its offices were closed due to inclement weather.

Hampering R&D

On another front, the health and the environment subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is taking the lead in drafting health reform legislation, last week held a hearing on the impact of health care reforms on the drug industry.