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WASHINGTON — Generic drugmakers lobbied hard against Democrats’ new law empowering Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. Giving the government such power seemed like an admission that generic medicines don’t do enough to keep costs down.

Now that the changes are law, however, industry experts and lobbyists acknowledge the package is more of a mixed bag for generics makers like Teva and Sandoz, not an existential threat. Though it’s too soon to tell, the law could actually end up encouraging more generic competition, boosting the $435 billion industry.

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