Senators push for quicker generic drug access

by Henry C. Jackson

(AP)—Two senators want to do away with the agreements that pharmaceutical companies make with one another to keep lower-priced generic copies of brand-name drugs off the market.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa say such "pay-for-delay" deals force consumers to pay higher prices for critical drugs. Their bill would make such agreements illegal unless the companies can prove in court that they aren't anti-competitive.

Grassley says Congress, in his words, "should be doing all we can to see that the American consumer has access to lower-priced drugs as soon as possible."

Representatives of the tell a Senate antitrust subcommittee chaired by Klobuchar that the agreements sometimes shorten the time for to reach the market, particularly in patent disputes.

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not rated yet Jul 24, 2013
We dont just need socialized healthcare. We need socialized drug development. It wouldn't be such a big leap, a waste, or a killer of innovation. The 'bottom line' inescapable, irrefutable truth is that drugs-for-profit will never have the patients' health as the only priority, and sometimes not even the priority. This is reflected over and over again in many ways including biased trials/conflicts of interest, the hiding/downplaying of dangerous results to continue to market, and advertising-derived (excess) demand. Money should NOT be at stake when our health is. The amount of R&D $ put into a drug should have no influence on it's acceptance. And money should be allocated to test/discover what are likely many untapped (because they can't be patented, or are simpler or legacy drugs that were never tested for alternate indictation etc) effective treatments.

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