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: College education not always about what you have

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google 'anti-aging' group has a website

Aug 12, 2014

Google's new company aimed at addressing problems of health and aging has taken a step forward—with its own website and mission statement.

Recommended for you

The changing landscape of religion

40 minutes ago

Religion is a key factor in demography, important for projections of future population growth as well as for other social indicators. A new journal, Yearbook of International Religious Demography, is the first to bring a quan ...

Abusive leadership infects entire team

1 hour ago

Supervisors who are abusive to individual employees can actually throw the entire work team into conflict, hurting productivity, finds new research led by a Michigan State University business scholar.

The tyranny of realism in energy planning

1 hour ago

A report exploring the political economy of energy planning under democracy and the Integrated Energy Planning (IEP) process due to conclude this year was launched by the British High Commission, Project ...

User comments : 0