In some respect, there is validity to such assertions and claims.
However, a problem arises when the term for proprietary ownership of the formula is nearing expiration, and the firm then makes a minor modification to the medication – sometimes, only just changing the pill shape, or color – and then calls it “new,” which allows them to re-initiate another claim for unique ownership.
That is abuse.
However, more than anything, perhaps there is some warrant to discussing a more expedited pathway for FDA approval, which also guarantees patient safety.
Another reason, not mentioned here, is advertising.
Not only does advertising co$t lot$ of money, there is a legitimate concern that advertising to patients to get them to ask for medications from their physicians is not only an ethical lapse, but a medical one, as well. There’s a very good reason why it’s called “evidence based medicine,” rather than “advertising pushed medicine.”
Want to cut health care costs? Start here.
(Photo illustration by The Washington Post; Original image from istockphoto.com)
Abbott Labs is a pharmaceutical company based in Illinois. About a decade ago, in 2000, it faced a problem. The company had recently acquired exclusive rights to sell Tricor-1, a cholesterol-fighting drug. It was profitable, which was nice, but the best part was this: It was a name-brand drug and Abbott was the only company with rights to sell it.
Drug exclusivity does not, however, last forever: After a name-brand drug has five years on the U.S. market, generics are allowed to come in and compete. That’s what a generic pharmaceutical company wanted to do with Tricor-1. Novopharm submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administrationto produce a generic version of the drug.That was bad news for Abbott Labs: With generics tending to sell at about 80 percent less than brand-name drugs, the new medication had the potential to seriously undercut its Tricor-1 business.
Abbott Labs was able to delay Novopharm by a bit, a story that health-care researchers recount in a recent Annals of Internal Medicine article. The company filed a patent infringement lawsuit that Read the rest of this entry »