|Drug Industry Works to Impede Marketing of Generic Drugs|
The brand-name drug industry is fighting in Congress, state legislatures, and courtrooms across the country to make the process of bringing generic drugs to market more difficult. As a result, discount drug makers may not be able to sell many drugs commonly used by seniors in cheaper generic versions as soon as the drugs’ brand name patents expire, the organization that represents pharmacy benefit managers warned this week. "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 in The Washington Post. With several top-selling drugs scheduled to go off patent within five years, the organization reported, “branded drug companies are creating roadblocks to possible savings of $23 billion to seniors and the Medicare system.” Together, the cholesterol drugs Zocor and Pravachol, the antidepressant Zoloft and the prostate medication Proscar would save Medicare $13 billion if generic competitors come on the market as scheduled. After discovery of a new drug, drug makers currently have the legal right for 20 years to sell it exclusively. Slightly more than 53 percent of all U.S. prescriptions are filled with generics. “There is no need to give brand-name drug makers more than twenty years of exclusive rights,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “Twenty is more than enough.”
I wonder what our do-nothing Democratic Senators and Congresspeople will do for you now. Let's take a guess: NOTHING! I mean, they just gave the obscenely wealthy oil companies more tax breaks, so why should your elected representatives change their tune now? I know the Dems don't have a majority in Congress, but that doesn't give them an excuse for sitting on their hands and not speaking out vociferously every chance they get. Did you elect these bums to represent the corporations or to represent you?