The Struggle to Bring Generic Drugs to the Market Place

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Adam's Apple, May 5, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Quite an interesting look at how pharmaceuticals work behind the scenes. This is a real problem for everyone. Pharmaceuticals spend billions of dollars in research before they are able to bring a drug to the market place, so it is understandable they want to profit from their expensive investment. On the other hand, with today's surging health costs, most people can barely afford the generic brands. I once worked with a young woman in the clerical ranks who had to make a decision every month on whether she would eat or purchase the expensive medications (not generics) she needed. Her situation was known in the work place, so it was not unusual for her to find a few anonymous donations in envelopes at her work station at the end of the month.

    Generic Drugs' Path to Retail Market Often Long and Contentious
    By Tony Pugh, Knight Ridder Newspapers
    April 27, 2006

    For consumers, the case shows that good things eventually come to those who wait. But it also shows that a generic drug's path to the retail market is often long and contentious. The price and market share for a brand-name drug fall dramatically when a generic alternative becomes available, so former patent holders do all they can to stave off the competition.

    According to Bain & Co., an international consulting firm, patents are set to expire on 75 brand-name drugs over the next two years and on an unprecedented 252 by 2014. A study by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association released on April 18 found consumers and health plans could save more than $26.4 billion over the next five years by using cheaper generic versions of just 14 brand-name drugs scheduled to lose their patent protection between now and 2009.

    But protracted legal battles are inevitable, experts say, which means consumers will face many delays before they can save on the coming wave of generic alternatives.

    "Big, big fights are ahead," said Sid Wolfe, director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog agency. "The brand-name companies will do everything possible to prolong the day when the generic drugs become available. Buying an extra six months, two years or three years for a big-selling drug is going to mean a difference of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars."

    for full article:
    http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/news/columnists/tony_pugh/14444934.htm

    Related:
    http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/news/columnists/tony_pugh/14444840.htm

    http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/news/columnists/tony_pugh/14371784.htm
     
  2. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    People complain about this all the time, but if the drug patents were made short or if generics could start producing as soon as the drug hit the market, there would be no new drugs from about 5 years from now on. The drug business is like a race with the bugs. If we ever stand still for a second, the bugs learn to resist all our drugs, and then we're back to the middle ages. It's not pretty, but if this system goes away, then so does the past century of drug research.
     
  3. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    How about they stop wasting money on fashionable medications--Restless Leg Syndrome ??? I would think there is somethin a bit more important they could work on----but hey, money talks !
     
  4. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    There's a demand, which means that a supply will naturally grow from that demand. Yeah, crap like social anxiety disorder and restless leg syndrome is stupid, and I think acid reflux is probably about a tenth as common as people think it is (if you eat pizza every night just before bed, it's not acid reflux, it's stupidity). However, that blame rests on the idiots who buy hundreds of dollars in pills they don't need, not the people who make them. I also don't think perscription drugs should be advertised to anyone but doctors, but I'm not in favor of legally enforcing that.

    Also remember that those retarded drugs also sell for a hell of a lot, offsetting the research cost.
     

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