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WASHINGTON — As congressional Republicans race toward a vote on their tax code overhaul, a key tax credit for biotech and pharmaceutical companies — the so-called orphan drug tax credit — is on the line.

The House passed a tax reform package earlier this month that would entirely repeal the credit, which is aimed at incentivizing research into treatments for especially rare diseases. The Senate version, up for a vote this week, lessens the amount companies can claim under the credit but keeps the idea in place. If it clears the Senate, the two chambers would have to reconcile their different versions before it could head to President Trump’s desk.


Rare disease groups and biotechnology companies are fighting to keep the tax credit on the books, flying patients in to meet with Republican senators and staff and blasting their membership with emails encouraging them to call or tweet at their lawmakers.

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