The following is from the Los Angeles Times by Samantha Masunaga, July 29, 2019:
Two pharmaceutical companies will pay the state of California a total of nearly $70 million to settle allegations that they violated antitrust laws by making agreements to delay generic drugs from entering the market, according to the California attorney general’s office. A third company will be subject to an injunction as part of the settlement.
Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. illegally maintained a monopoly over sales of narcolepsy drug Provigil by entering “pay-for-delay” agreements to keep a generic version off the market for almost six years, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s office said in a statement Monday. Pay-for-delay agreements — under which the maker of a brand-name drug pays other drugmakers to refrain from producing a generic version after the drug’s patent expires — are not on their face illegal, but they can be used in ways that violate antitrust law. Regulators have said such deals also keep drug prices high.
My fellow Americans, did you know that large well known Big Pharma Drug Companies will pay smaller companies to keep the generics they make off the market.
Let me break this down for you in numbers that I am making up. As we all know, new drugs out in the market command higher prices. Why? Because our pharmaceutical companies say they are better. Are they really better than their precursor? Probably not. That is hard to prove because all the studies saying the new drug is better are produced by the very companies selling the pills. What better way to sell a new Purple Pill! It must be better. It is such a pretty color.
Drug patents are good for twenty years and the clock starts at time of invention. Prior to this time a generic drug cannot enter the market but once it does the brand sales may drop by 80%. There is a lot of legal wrangling by the patent holder and the new company producing the generic.
Following all of this now comes company “Little” with a new generic medication. The off-brand medication they have now produced as a generic, they can sell for $2. Pretty good competition for the brand name medication which sold for twenty times that amount. Now company “Big” finds out about this and thinks, why not block this. What better way than to ask “Little” to keep their new generic off the market. Company “Little” says they are going to make a billion dollars off their generic this year so company “Big” makes them a deal they can’t refuse.
Company “Big” says if you keep your generic off the market, we will pay you two billion. So, company Little thinks what a deal. Let’s do it. It is a good deal for everyone except the American people. Company “Big” still keeps making their twenty billion dollars a year selling their brand name medication and company “Little” makes a billion dollars more that they had planned on. The only losers?
The American people of course. Always the losers.
Why does this happen in our country and not any other country in the world? Remember the United States of America uses 46% of all medications produced on the globe even though we make up only 5% of the population of the planet. We are also charged outrageous sums of money when other countries pay only pennies in comparison. Why? Because our government says it is OK to rape the American people on medications. Our government also says it is OK to advertise continually to all our youngsters. The only other country in the world that allows that is New Zealand, also with an Oxycontin crisis.
God bless America and God bless you all from the Maverick Doctor,
Rick R. Redalen, M.D.
Pick up a copy of my book “God’s Tiniest Angel and the Last Unicorn,” available on Amazon.
Dr. Rick is a retired American physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has done mission work around the country and around the world. He is now on a mission to improve healthcare in America. Visit maverickdoctor.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.