Efforts to save a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company upwards of $1 billion for failing to file a drug patent extension on time resumed March 29 with the introduction of a bipartisan bill and a high-powered lobbying campaign.
Democratic Reps. Marty Meehan and Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts and Republican Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee dropped a measure to extend the lapsed deadline for The Medicines Co. The company's lawyers were a day late in 2001 filing the extension for the blood-thinning drug Angiomax. A last-minute relief bill quietly passed the House late in 2006 but was derailed by Senate objections.
The renewed effort is being run by the DLA Piper lobbying firm, which received $1.7 million from Medicines last year. Its lobbyists include former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
DISAVOWING JEB BUSH
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the only new Republican governor elected by a major state in 2006, is a major disappointment to party leaders in the state.
"Charlie has succeeded in just three months in getting rid of just about everything Jeb Bush [his two-term predecessor as governor] accomplished," a key Florida Republican told this column. He contended Crist has abandoned Bush's conservative reforms, particularly in education.
Crist, the former state attorney general, has been considered a possible candidate for vice president in 2008 in view of Florida's importance to Republican chances of retaining the White House.