I'm sure you've recently read about Martin Shkreli for one reason or another. How he hiked the price of Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to an eye watering $750 per pill. You may also have heard of Valeant Pharmaceuticals rising the price of several drugs, one of which Isuprel, used for emergency situations to prevent fatally slow heart rates.
Both parties were summoned to explain themselves before The House & Senate - rightly so if you ask me.
I understand that businesses are there to make money, but Pharmaceutical companies are here to make a difference to patients with life threatening illnesses; generic drugs help do this as affordably as possible. Nearly 3.8 billion of the total 4.3 billion prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. in 2014 were filled using generic drugs. This means that generic drugs now account for nearly 9 out of every 10 prescriptions-dispensed in the USA, which saved the health system $254 Billion, and in the UK , generic drugs save the NHS on average £9 Billion each year, which is huge!
To try and stop the next Martin Shkreli or Valeant from inflating generic drug prices, The FDA have now made a regulatory change so that there is a faster review process to stop this happening in the near future, so that drugs are affordable to the patients that need them, and not at extortionate prices.
With a tiny change to the rules, the Food and Drug Administration made it a bit harder for Martin Shkreli and his ilk to make a killing by jacking up the prices of off-patent drugs. The regulatory tweak now allows a “priority” or expedited review process for any generic drug that would compete with an off-patent drug that is only made by one company—the kinds of drugs that have seen skyrocketing price tags of late. The faster review process could cut the window for a pharmaceutical company to have a monopoly over the drug from years to months, sharply cutting profits from potential price gouging.