Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

Politics
posted by Fnord666 on Sunday May 20, @01:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the dishonor-on-you,-dishonor-on-your-cow dept.

Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956

Update 5/17/2018: The FDA has now launched the website listing the names of brand name drugs and their makers who have stood in the way of generic drug companies trying to make more affordable alternatives. You can view the list here. It includes notable medications, such as Accutane (for acne), Methadone (used for opioid dependency), and Tracleer (to treat high blood pressure in the lungs). The brand name drug makers to be shamed includes big hitters such as Celgene Corp, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Gilead Sciences Inc, and Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, now a Johnson & Johnson company. Our original story, published May 16, is unedited below.

The Food and Drug Administration plans this week to effectively begin publicly shaming brand-name drug companies that stand in the way of competitors trying to develop cheaper generic drugs.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told reporters on Monday and Tuesday that the agency will unveil a website on Thursday, May 17 that names names of such companies. More specifically, the website will publicly reveal the identity of 50 branded drugs and their makers that have blocked generic development. The website will also be updated "on a continuous basis" to list additional names.

In fielding questions from reporters, Gottlieb denied that the effort was a form of public shaming. "I don't think this is publicly shaming," Gottlieb said, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. "I think this is providing transparency in situations where we see certain obstacles to timely generic entry."

Source: https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/05/fda-to-start-naming-names-of-pharma-companies-blocking-cheaper-generics/


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday May 20, @01:33AM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday May 20, @01:33AM (#681730)

    don't think this is publicly shaming," Gottlieb said, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. "I think this is providing transparency

    Unfortunately, transparency often has the effect of publicly shaming entities with lots of focused power (money) that are taking advantage of less focused less powerful entities (usually ordinary people)... so why would the powerful encourage, or even allow it?

    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Monday May 21, @01:52AM (1 child)

      by driverless (4770) on Monday May 21, @01:52AM (#682015)

      It also, unfortunately, will have zero effect on the named corporations. Their business model is fairly close to corporate psychopathy, being named as immoral won't affect them one bit, that's their business model. Their investors may even reward them for it, because what they're doing maximise profits compared to allowing competing generics.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 21, @03:08AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 21, @03:08AM (#682029)

        It _could_ be the start of a political movement for legislation to speed generics to market... I'm probably too old to see that happen in my lifetime (said my 14 year old son.)

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday May 20, @01:45AM (4 children)

    My pdoc gave me the fantastically expensive Latuda for depression. It didn't do squat

    But amitryptiline has been generic for generations yet works really well

    But no one promotes it to doctors

    --
    My United States Social Security Number Is 518-92-8663
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @02:40AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @02:40AM (#681745)

      What generic drug makers don't tell you, but a good doctor will... "A generic’s maximum concentration of active ingredient in the blood must not fall more than 20% below or 25% above that of the brand name." So you might be under dosed or over dosed with Generics.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @04:58AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @04:58AM (#681778)

        That is actually a common misconception. The bounds of the 90% confidence interval of bioequivalence must be within those two limits. This does not mean that the actual drug concentration will actually be anywhere near those limits. The real difference is (usually) in the secondary effects of inactive ingredients and manufacture processes affecting the amount of time it takes to become bioavailable (the AUC) and the exact duration of said bioavailability. The different inactive ingredients and processes can also cause people to have different side-effects and contraindications for the generic.

        • (Score: 2) by arslan on Sunday May 20, @11:06PM (1 child)

          by arslan (3462) on Sunday May 20, @11:06PM (#681983)

          So what does all that mean to the lay-men? Here in oz, we're told, by the pharmacist at least, that generics and branded drugs have no difference apart from price..

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, @01:34AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, @01:34AM (#682012)

            First I want to clarify something. Latuda and amitryptiline are two different drugs. What MDC is talking about is not a difference of generic vs branded effectiveness.

            As for your question, when it comes to treating your condition, there is no real difference between generics and branded. Generics are just as safe and effective as branded drugs in every real sense. The difference comes in two places. The first is when the drug reaches dosing level in your blood, which can vary depending on the exact formulation and cannot be more than a few percentage points from the branded drug. For standard ingested drugs, the difference is literally seconds. However, that can cause people to have placebo reactions that magnify the actual difference. The second is side effects. Generics can have different side effects from their branded counterparts because the INACTIVE ingredients can be different. Usually they just use cheaper fillers (AKA bulking agents) but other excipients can be changed as well (as long as it doesn't affect the AUC/timing too much). Again, even slight changes in side effects can be magnified by the placebo effect, but if you check the inserts, they are usually minor (think slight indigestion). Really, the only time you need to be extra careful is when you switch between drugs, e.g. branded to generic, generic to generic, or generic to branded.

            A good video on the subject is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqXrfzWgDkE [youtube.com]

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @01:48AM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @01:48AM (#681736)

    As someone with an incurable medical condition, I hope the pharma companies make lots of money. They are sure to invest some of it in research, which is the only hope that some of us have. Don't want to pay so much for acne medicine? So don't. It won't kill you.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday May 20, @01:51AM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @01:51AM (#681737) Journal

      Sounds like a shill? Smells like a shill? It's probably a shill.

      --
      Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
      • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Sunday May 20, @04:46PM (1 child)

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday May 20, @04:46PM (#681897) Journal

        Sounds like sarcasm to me.

        • (Score: 2) by BK on Sunday May 20, @05:15PM

          by BK (4868) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @05:15PM (#681902)

          But they forgot to set the sarcasm bit, or to use a sarcasm font, or even the sarcasm tag. Kids these days...

          --
          4 out of 5 dentists choose Brand X. The other is just a denier.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @02:47AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @02:47AM (#681749)

      s/acne/AIDS/ (commenting for Mr. Shkreli while he's AFK)

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by MostCynical on Sunday May 20, @02:48AM (2 children)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Sunday May 20, @02:48AM (#681750)

      Your faith in pharmaceutical companies even wanting to invest in *cures*, let alone bother if they obscure, rare diseases, is... delusional.
      Unless your incurable condition is "stupidity", or "delusional optimism".

      --
      (Score: tau, Irrational)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:14AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:14AM (#681783)

        Why would a pharma company want to kill off the cash cow that brings its insurance card to the pharmacy register monthly?

        Everything is going to a rent-seeking subscription base these days... including life itself. Usually monthly.

        ( You can't even buy a can of beer these days... you can only rent it for an hour or so! )

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 20, @12:50PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @12:50PM (#681843) Journal
          Why would they want to cure a cash cow on which they have a monopoly position?
    • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Sunday May 20, @07:51AM (3 children)

      by crafoo (6639) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @07:51AM (#681804)

      Ironically, actually taking that particular acne medicine may kill you. It's one of the side effects. Of course they say it's rare, but once you personally know someone who's died from it.. well, death seems like a somewhat absurd side effect for acne medicine.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Sunday May 20, @12:55PM (2 children)

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday May 20, @12:55PM (#681848) Journal

        And there is a much, much better way to deal with acne: cut back on sugar. If you do have something sugary, in enough quantity that plaque rapidly builds up in your mouth, brush your teeth and tongue afterwards. I have also found that brushing my teeth can help curb cravings for sweets. Maybe the sugar loving bacteria in the mouth are able to influence their hosts to crave more sugar?

        Big Pharma neglects to tell people stuff like that. I've concluded that capitalism has seriously warped our health care. Money is first. Patients are definitely secondary to money. That's why there's much more focus on treatments than cures, and all the myriad other tricks they pull to increase their profits at our expense, you know, expiration dates on medicine that are way too soon, the whole idea of marketing drugs directly to patients, bribing doctors, trying to scare people away from generics and Canadian drugs by slyly implying their quality is suspect, doing a little regulatory capture, and so on.

        • (Score: 2) by termigator on Sunday May 20, @04:23PM

          by termigator (4271) on Sunday May 20, @04:23PM (#681891)

          Also look at diet and the possibility of an allergy to what you eat.

          I have a relative that had blood test showing they have an allergy to dairy. Once they stopped consuming dairy, their acne went away.

        • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Monday May 21, @02:40AM

          by Mykl (1112) on Monday May 21, @02:40AM (#682024)

          I had teenage acne until I stopped using soap on my face. As soon as I changed that (use soap on the rest of the body, just not the face), everything cleared up.

          Probably not a cure for seriously bad acne, but for the standard-grade teenage type, it worked for me.

  • (Score: 0, Redundant) by khallow on Sunday May 20, @02:05AM (15 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @02:05AM (#681739) Journal

    One example of such gaming is when potential generic applicants are prevented from obtaining samples of certain brand products necessary to support approval of a generic drug. The inability of generic companies to purchase the samples they need slows down, or entirely impedes, the generic drug development process – leading to delays in bringing affordable generic alternatives to patients in need.

    I'm underwhelmed by this. So companies are expected to voluntarily cooperate with competitors in order to undermine their own business? I get that the US drug market is ridiculously broken. But naive approaches like this are an embarrassment. I predict here that the billions of dollars per year in profits from continued inhibiting of generic drug competitors will buy a lot of apathetic, passive-aggressiveness from the guilty culprits even with this attempt at shaming.

    • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Sunday May 20, @02:40AM (1 child)

      by Whoever (4524) on Sunday May 20, @02:40AM (#681746) Journal

      That's because this is pure theatre. The administration think that Trump supporters will think he is doing a good job because of this, while the pharma companies have shown time and time again that they don't care about their image.

      You should be underwhelmed.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:21AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:21AM (#681786)

        One would hope that Trump is about to show big pharma experience what negotiation is like with a sociopath negotiating for the American people.

        One would expect that you are correct. It's pure theater to distract from passing more legislation for ensuring big pharma continues to set record profits.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by deimtee on Sunday May 20, @03:20AM (6 children)

      by deimtee (3272) on Sunday May 20, @03:20AM (#681757)

      How about, if you want government-backed patent protection, you pay the price. And that price includes samples and disclosure of production methods.
      Using patents and then pretending that the medical industry is a free market is laughable.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 20, @03:50AM (5 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @03:50AM (#681764) Journal

        How about, if you want government-backed patent protection, you pay the price.

        And pray they don't alter the deal further?

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by deimtee on Sunday May 20, @04:00AM (4 children)

          by deimtee (3272) on Sunday May 20, @04:00AM (#681766)

          The deal is you disclose your invention and the Government will enforce a monopoly on your behalf for an agreed time. After that time it is free for everyone to use.
          Who is not living up to that deal?

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 20, @04:05AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @04:05AM (#681767) Journal

            Who is not living up to that deal?

            Both parties are living up to that deal. Just because something becomes free to use doesn't imply any obligation to help others figure out how to use it. The generics aren't under any obligation to reveal their trade secrets either.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:26AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:26AM (#681787)

            You're barking up the wrong tree. Many medicines that have been in the headlines for obscene prices are not under patent monopoly.

            The problem is barrier of entry for independent manufacture of these medicines.

            We need to reduce the barrier of entry for companies to add new generics to their brand. The free market is a valid solution for the scope of this particular problem.

            There are many, many other problems with the price of healthcare in general, some/many of which the free market is unable to solve.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Jiro on Sunday May 20, @08:27AM (1 child)

              by Jiro (3176) on Sunday May 20, @08:27AM (#681809)

              There is no free market here. The competitor is not permitted to produce the generic until he does tests that require samples of the first company's product. If there was a free market, the competitor wouldn't need permission--they'd just do it. And if there was a free market, the first company wouldn't be the only source of samples anyway, since the fact that it is the only source of samples depends on the government-granted patent monopoly it had during previous years.

              • (Score: 1) by anubi on Sunday May 20, @12:23PM

                by anubi (2828) on Sunday May 20, @12:23PM (#681839)

                Yup, kill off the "artificial monopoly: legal extortion crafted by Congress", and stuff like this will be like going to the dollar store for a bottle of aspirin. I am quite happy my doctor finds quite cheap generics for what ails me. So far, everything has done what needed to be done.

                My best take on this whole mess is that pharmaceuticals, like software, changes for increased profitability, with efficacy taking a distant back seat.

                --
                "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:07AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:07AM (#681780)

      The generic company needs to prove equivalence. They therefore need samples.

      I suppose there is another solution to this. Cough up the samples, or we waive the requirement to prove equivalence.

    • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by frojack on Sunday May 20, @06:27AM (4 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @06:27AM (#681798) Journal

      I didn't find the story, or the methods convincing.
      An FDA doctor writes a prescription, and a generic company obtains the samples from a retail pharmacy.

      There are enough exemptions in the law to allow this without the manufacturer ever knowing about it once the patents expire.

      I don't believe EITHER of the two tactics are actually any impediment to obtaining samples.

      I have heard of some manufacturers coming out with new patented versions, sometimes with a simple change in a non-active ingrediant, sufficiently ahead of the old patent expiration so that all of the old product will be gone from the supply chain before the patent expires. Then they could refuse to restart the manufacturer of the old product to supply samples.

      But seriously, obtaining samples isn't that hard.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by Jiro on Sunday May 20, @08:31AM (2 children)

        by Jiro (3176) on Sunday May 20, @08:31AM (#681810)

        I would be very surprised if the FDA permitted illegally-obtained samples to be used in testing. I would also be very surprised if a doctor who tried this didn't get reported to the medical board and punished, if the company ever finds out about it. (And I doubt the required number of samples is small enough that one physician could get them anyway.)

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 20, @11:43AM (1 child)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @11:43AM (#681835) Journal

          I would be very surprised if the FDA permitted illegally-obtained samples to be used in testing.

          Why would you use such samples in testing? Those are merely to determine what additives are included with the active ingredients.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 20, @12:54PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @12:54PM (#681846) Journal
            I suppose my point here is that "equivalence" is near irrelevant. If there is a substantial testing cost increase from so-called equivalence to merely producing the same drug in almost the same quantity, then maybe we ought to look at what is causing that problem, namely, the FDA, and fix it?
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Whoever on Sunday May 20, @04:01PM

        by Whoever (4524) on Sunday May 20, @04:01PM (#681884) Journal

        An FDA doctor writes a prescription, and a generic company obtains the samples from a retail pharmacy.

        Once again, you are writing from the perspective of ignorance.

        There is a good article on the topic here:
        https://hbr.org/2017/04/how-pharma-companies-game-the-system-to-keep-drugs-expensive [hbr.org]

        They also use captive pharmacies to limit supplies of their drugs to patients only (thus preventing equivalence testing).

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by realDonaldTrump on Sunday May 20, @02:13AM (6 children)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @02:13AM (#681741) Homepage Journal

    The middlemen became very, very rich. My administration is launching the most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people. I call it American Patients First. We will have tougher negotiation, more competition and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter. And it will start to take effect very soon. America will not be cheated any longer and especially will not be cheated by FOREIGN COUNTRIES. It's unfair, it's ridiculous and it's not going to happen any longer. We will work every day to ensure all Americans have access to the quality, affordable medication they need and they deserve. And we will not rest until this job of unfair pricing is a total victory for the USA. It will happen and it's going to happen quickly. The American people deserve a health care system that takes care of them, not one that taxes and takes advantage of our patients, our consumers and our citizens. Time to derail the gravy train! hhs.gov/sites/default/files/AmericanPatientsFirst.pdf [hhs.gov]

    --
    Text TRUMP to 88022 to join the 🚂 #TrumpTrain [facebook.com]
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Sunday May 20, @02:30AM (2 children)

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @02:30AM (#681743) Homepage Journal

      What? Like,......what the what???

      Why the fuck am I thinking you're doing another good thing?!?!?!

      Holy fuck, what?

      My brain is 'sploding!!!!!!

      What the smoked mackerel is going the feck on????????!

      --
      --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
      • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Sunday May 20, @08:13PM (1 child)

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @08:13PM (#681952) Homepage Journal

        Foreign Countries are forcing our terrific pharma industry to sell drugs VERY CHEAPLY. So the prices in the USA go sky-high. I'm calling on those Countries to end the price controls. So prices in America will come down to what folks can afford. America First!!!

        --
        Text TRUMP to 88022 to join the 🚂 #TrumpTrain [facebook.com]
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Mykl on Monday May 21, @02:47AM

          by Mykl (1112) on Monday May 21, @02:47AM (#682025)

          That's one interpretation.

          The other is that the prices paid for pharmaceuticals overseas (combined government subsidy and retail price) represent the price that the drug really can be viably sold for, and the exorbitant pricing of the US reflects what the companies can get away with when the government makes no effort to protect its own citizens from being gouged.

          It should be noted that medicine is not something that can be measured using market capitalism - there are too many influencing factors including patents, startup costs, inelastic demand from patients (who will pay whatever is necessary to stay alive) and all of the regulation that surrounds the market (providing a barrier of entry for other competitors).

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @02:50AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @02:50AM (#681752)

      You misspelled American Patents First.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Sunday May 20, @04:31AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday May 20, @04:31AM (#681776)

      I find it very unsettling when either Trump makes sense...

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @12:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @12:17PM (#681838)

      Let me try another tack at this:

      Hawaii floods: In ‘despicable’ act, boater took stranded victims to sea, then demanded money to bring them ashore, authorities say. [washingtonpost.com]

      Sick people. Stranded people. People who found themselves in a predicament by no fault of their own.

      If a Corporation does stuff like this, its "business". If a person does this, its "despicable".

      Now, consider the people who were doing this find a Congressman who will shake his hand and provide him with law and goons to keep anyone else from helping those folk.

      Businesses are pretty good at finding Congressmen who will do just that.

      And to think we still refer to a Congressman as "The Honorable". God a feel like I am telling a lie if I have to mouth those words.

      Make America Groan Again.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by black6host on Sunday May 20, @03:14AM (3 children)

    by black6host (3827) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @03:14AM (#681755) Journal

    So, someone please educate me. Are not these drugs covered under patents? And if so, and the patents have expired, which would seem to be necessary for generics to take root, why do they need samples? Should it not all be described, at least the important stuff, in the patent?

    Sorry if I'm being dense here...

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @04:12AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @04:12AM (#681769)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generic_drug [wikipedia.org]

      Basically, you need to prove your generic is the same as the Branded product, and you can only do that using comparisons. You also need to have chain of custody type documentation, so if the branded product manufacturer refuses to sell to you, and puts in their contracts that no one else can sell to you, it is very difficult to prove that your drug is the same as theirs. Just buying some off the street isn't good enough.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Sunday May 20, @06:33AM (1 child)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 20, @06:33AM (#681799) Journal

        Change the rules so that the generics need only adhear to the publised patent description, and let the original manufacturer explain why their submitted patent documents were erroneous for 17 to 20 years.
        Put the risk on them.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by deimtee on Sunday May 20, @09:13PM

          by deimtee (3272) on Sunday May 20, @09:13PM (#681963)

          The patented chemical is not the same thing as the FDA approved drug, and leaving something out of the patent description isn't illegal anyway.
          So what happens when one of the unmentioned ingredients in the pill is something that mitigates one of the side effects of the patented drug?
          Eg. an anticoagulent in something that would otherwise cause clots? The branded medicine works as claimed, people who take the generic have heart attacks and strokes.
          Who is responsible? The branded company is certainly going to deny it, and legally they are probably right.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @03:27AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @03:27AM (#681761)

    There is a drug called colchicine. It was originally derived from the autumn crocus plant, and among other uses helps against acute gout attacks. The plant has been used against gout at least since the first century AD.

    As a commonly used drug even in the USA before the creation of the FDA, it was considered by the FDA as "unapproved", meaning since everyone since the goddamn Roman Empire knew it worked, no one had paid to have studies done to prove it worked. So in 2009 the FDA agreed with a company called URL Pharma that they would do the tests and the FDA would grant them a patent for the drug. The previous generic version was sold for $0.09 per tablet; the FDA banned all generic versions and the now monopoly URL Pharma raised the price per tablet to $4.85 and now calls it Colcrys.

    If you don't believe this, just consult the Wikipedia entry for colchicine.

    For the FDA to try to lay the blame on pharmacy companies for doing what in many circumstances the FDA is directly enabling them to do, is gall on the level that only U.S. politics can achieve.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday May 20, @04:33AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday May 20, @04:33AM (#681777)

      gall on the level that only U.S. politics can achieve.

      Blame it on a previous administration, we're cleaning house this term (said every new administration ever.)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, @05:39AM (#681791)

      This could be the part of it that seeks to maintain the status quo. The pharma companies better not complain about being put in the spotlight, because if they complain too much, people might figure out that the only reason why prices can raise so high is because of the monopoly status you identified.

      So, if the pharma companies respond by lowering their prices, they can keep their monopolies and continue to price gouge, just at a level that's a little less obscene.

      The only people who will continue to object to the situation is <sarcasm>just those crazy libertarians who think we should have a system of contracts and ancaps who merely want to reduce government regulation and overreach</sarcasm>.

      Everybody else is perfectly happy with having a command economy for pharmaceuticals, <sarcasm>because that's not OMG socialism! if the economy is being commanded by transnational corporations</sarcasm>.

(1)