Impeding U.S. generic drug use criticized

Apr 19, 2006

Moves by branded drug companies to slow the spread of U.S. generic drugs has been criticized by a pharmacy benefit managers' organization.

"There's an agenda to prevent generics from getting to the market as soon as they could," said Mark Merritt, president of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.

There are an unprecedented number of top-selling drugs scheduled to go off patent within five years, and the organization said branded drug companies are creating hurdles to potential savings of $23 billion to seniors and the Medicare system.

The association identified 14 drugs commonly used by older people that are set to go off patent by 2010, including the cholesterol drugs Zocor and Pravachol, the antidepressant Zoloft and the prostate medication Proscar.

Under federal legislation passed in 1984, drug makers have 20 years after discovery of a drug to sell it exclusively, but some drug companies are lobbying for longer patent exclusivity.

"Many of the branded companies have pretty empty pipelines, with few big blockbusters on the horizon," Merritt said. "So they're fighting to keep their current big sellers free of competition."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Explainer: How to solve a jewel heist (and why it takes so long)

Related Stories

Q&A: Why are antibiotics used in livestock?

11 hours ago

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is the latest company to ask its suppliers to curb the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Here's a rundown of what's driving the decision: ...

How alternative currencies could catch on and cash in

May 21, 2015

Alternatives to cash, like Bitcoin and Uber, may never replace the coins in our pockets or paper bills in our wallets, but they are creating significant social and economic impacts, and with some design adjustments, ...

Recommended for you

Top UK scientists warn against EU exit

15 hours ago

A group of leading British scientists including Nobel-winning geneticist Paul Nurse warned leaving the European Union could threaten research funding, in a letter published in The Times newspaper on Friday.

How we discovered the three revolutions of American pop

16 hours ago

Dr Matthias Mauch discusses his recent scientific analysis of the "fossil record" of the Billboard charts prompted widespread attention, particularly the findings about the three musical "revolutions" that shaped the musical la ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.