Monday, October 22, 2001
The debate over the availability of sufficient amounts of Bayer
AG's Cipro ciprofloxacin to deal with the terrorist anthrax attacks has seared
the issues of access to drugs and generic competition into the minds of virtually
every member of Congress. As lawmakers and their staffs line up for Cipro, it
is now hard to exaggerate the long-term impact that anthrax will have on American
political life - future debates about drug access and pricing will have resonance
to every individual lawmaker.
If Bayer (FSE:BAYG, Leverkusen, Germany) and the pharmaceutical
industry handle things well - and there's slim precedence for that - Congress
could remember that drug companies helped allay the fears of millions of people
and potentially saved lives.