Proposals to shorten the patent-protection period for biologic drugs from at least 12 years to seven years would discourage biotech firms and their investors from spending a huge amount of money in research and development, resulting in fewer biologic drugs in the future, writes Jacqueline R. Northcut, president and CEO of BioHouston and CEO of the Texas BioAlliance. Drugmakers spend an average of $1.2 billion to bring a new drug to the market, and a seven-year protection period would make it unfeasible for biotech firms to recover their investments, Northcut writes.

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