Generic Drug Bill Held Up

Disclosure: I have represented and represent both brand name and generic drug manufacturers. I know of no conflict with my representations and my position on this issue.

The problem with lobbyists is not with their lobbying, it is with our political system that lets our representatives get away with this type of behavior:

Legislation aimed at speeding the availability of cheaper generic drugs has stalled in Congress in the face of major lobbying by the drug industry. The Senate bill would ban most settlements known as “reverse payments,” in which a brand-name company pays a generic manufacturer to delay the introduction of the generic drug. The Federal Trade Commission, which has called on Congress to take action, says such settlements could cost American consumers billions of dollars.

. . . “Lobbyists have a lot of influence in Washington,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Herb Kohl, who chairs the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights. “If we can just get this to a vote, it will be pretty hard for people to vote against it. A vote against this is a vote against consumers.” . . .

It is important to understand that the need for such a law is due to some atrocious antitrust decisions by the Supreme Court. The issue is a bit complex, but the basics of it is that the Supreme Court has adopted the unproven thesis of conservative economists that intrabrand competition (between retailers of the same brand product) has no effects on market competition and that it is only interbrand competition (competition between differently branded products) that promotes competition. Anyone who has gone shopping at a Target, Wal-Mart, CostCo or Walgreens, knows this is a sham. But such is the effect of 7 Republican appointees to the Court. The antitrust laws have been gutted by the Court in the past 20 years.


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    • pfiore8 on November 13, 2007 at 19:06

    why are generics cheaper than the original drug? because of the brand name? or the processes and ingredients used to make them…

    while the ingredients are the same, not all are equal in quality. the manufacturing processes can impact quality, as temperature and the way drugs are stored.

    and why wouldn’t drug companies be willing to lower prices to maintain market share? and why not help drug companies with their research dollars? why not extend patents? and how many of those drug companies are parents of generic companies

    none of this makes sense to me… more false arguments.

    a few things… insurance should be not-for-profit. we should take pressure of drug companies and regulate costs of testing by perhaps better using relationships with universities where post grads can work along side experienced scientists… and extend patents… get back to science and undo the business/manufacturing model that is ruining pharma… they should be driven by discovery, not profit alone

    but then, what has value anymore but profit? not what we’re producing… products are just shells to produce dollars

    and we’re all emptier for it… a screaming lack of purpose. we sense it but so many of us just can’t put our finger on it… what’s missing in our lives. simple purpose and meaning.

    • Pluto on November 13, 2007 at 20:02

    It is important to understand that the need for such a law is due to some atrocious antitrust decisions by the Supreme Court.

    Antitrust law is still practiced in America? I thought that old chestnut went out with Janet Reno.

    The real trojan horse issue for Supreme Court appointments was NOT abortion — it is the murder of antitrust laws once and for all — beginning with Scalia. That was the IED that Alito and Roberts had hidden under their robes.

    That’s what my Plutocrat friends tell me, with great glee.

  1. and extortionists for those who really need it. The politics of fear once again, it sells shit. Too bad your sick, but if you want our cure pay the vig. Don’t even think about alternatives.

    • oculus on November 14, 2007 at 01:48

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