FDA takes step to improve generic drug competition

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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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