FDA takes step to improve generic drug competition

In the last day or so, we’ve talked about how the amount we paid for prescription drugs last year slowed down dramatically compared to 2014.

You know we’d all be paying a whole lot more if it wasn’t for generics, which amounts to as much as 85% of what we take.

The Food and Drug Administration recently said it’s going to prioritize any generic drug application when there’s currently just one manufacturer.

Here’s why:

At the University of Utah Healthcare, pharmacist Erin Fox said in about a year, the heart medication Isuprel went from $50 a dose to $1800 after Valeant purchased the drug.

She said they had always stocked on crash carts.

“Basically, it’s the kind of [drug] you might see on TV, code blue, cardiac arrest, everyone is rushing around,” she said. It’s the kind of medication that can save a life, she said.

But at $1800 a dose, it got pulled off the carts, only to be used in extreme emergencies.

This is what happens when a company has a lock on a given drug.
 
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