US President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for healthcare, which aims to reduce the nation’s spend on healthcare programmes, has been heavily criticised by the country’s pharmaceutical industry.

The proposals, part of plans to reduce the US deficit by $4tn within the next decade, could see healthcare programmes lose up to $364bn within that period, a move that US drug makers have warned threatens jobs and innovation.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America chief executive John Castellani slammed the plans, stating his belief that the latest proposals fly in the face of Obama’s previous pledges to support pharmaceutical innovation and research.

Castellani said that proposed mandatory rebates to Medicare’s Part D programme are "a short-sighted proposition that could destabilise the programme and threaten hundreds of thousands of American jobs".

"Medicare Part D is working well for seniors," said Castellani. "Due to competition, costs continue to be far below initial projections. We should not disrupt this successful programme."

Castellani also voiced concern over the ability of the Independent Payment Advisory Board to make changes to the Medicare programme without Congress’ oversight or judicial or administrative review.

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"We believe IPAB will result in access problems for Medicare beneficiaries and we support its complete repeal," said Castellani.