How Will Obamacare Affect Scientific Research?
When the US Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care reform law—colloquially known as the Affordable Care Act—it impacted not only the general public but biomedical research as well.
The key provisions that have a bearing on the lives and work of biomedical researchers include the establishment of a streamlined US Food and Drug Administration pathway for the approval of generic versions of protein-based drugs, so-called biosimilars; the creation of a translational research initiative at the National Institutes of Health called the Cures Acceleration Network; the launch of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which would require pharmaceutical and device makers to disclose all payments greater than $10 to physicians, and a push to increase funding for comparative effectiveness research. Had the individual mandate been struck down by the court, these other parts of the law would have likely fallen to the wayside.
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