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Obama Is in a Bind on Drugs That Could Cost Consumers Billions of Dollars

relates to Obama Is in a Bind on Drugs That Could Cost Consumers Billions of Dollars
Photographer: Monty Rakusen/Getty Images

The Obama administration is caught in a trap as it tries to bring home a trade deal with its Pacific Rim partners. Some of the chief beneficiaries may be big drug companies like Novartis AG, Roche Holding AG, and Pfizer Inc. while the losers could be consumers in both the U.S. and the region.

The administration says it’s bound by congressionally imposed instructions to try to get as much current U.S. law as possible into trade accords -- including stringent protections for patented drugs that it’s repeatedly tried to ease at home to encourage more cost-saving generics.