Generic Competition

  • by: |
  • 06/29/2006

Some people, like Senator Schumer, thinks it is wrong for drug companies to reduce their prices and co-market generic version of products nearing the end of patent life. As is Hatch-Waxman is a law that turns Para 4 challenges into an annuity. Sorry. That’s not what the law or the federal court says. And moreover, more competition means lower prices over the life cycle of the drug. As for the idea that Merck has “forced” managed care companies to impose a higher copay on generic Zocor, an allegation that Schumer served up, the fact is HMOs use higher copays to drive people to lower priced drugs all the time. I don’t like the practice because drug choice should be based on what’s best but that’s the game. Whining about it won’t change a thing and it shouldn’t.
Ultimately, the opposition to the Zocor price shift is just an effort to protect the generic drug “industry” and not consumers. It is ironic that the same people who belittle Rx and bio industry arguments about the impact of price controls on incentives for future investment are now arguing that the Zocor price shift and authorized generic movement —which is temporal and depends on blockbusters by the way — will undermine the long term incentive of generic companies to….initiatie patent challenges. What a loss. Fewer lawsuits.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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