BioCentury has made no bones about its abundant distaste for the Clinton health plan. But however incessant our Commentary might appear, we also can see that it's time to begin considering the endgame. While it's easy to oppose, it's harder to find a solution. It's even worse to be unprepared when the time comes to dicker over the final outcome. In Washington, the 80-20 rule applies in reverse - 80 percent of the deals will get done in the last 20 percent of the time. Those who dither won't be allowed to play the game. The biotech industry will need to know what it wants, as well as what it doesn't want, packaged in a bargaining position that gives both sides an incentive to deal.

David Katz, president and CEO of Lidak Pharmaceuticals in La Jolla, Calif., has his own vision of a final outcome that he believes will restore - if not improve - investment incentives while appeasing - if not assuaging - the forces of price control. In the interest of stimulating debate about endgame strategies, BioCentury is publishing Dr. Katz's proposal as a Guest Commentary. We'll add a few Comments of our own next week.

Guest Commentary

Solving the breakthrough drugs quagmire

One issue that has generated an electric reaction from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries has been the issue of price controls on drugs and health care services. The proposed establishment of an Advisory Council on Breakthrough Drugs has been a particular lightning rod for fear and criticism.