Generic drugs get the short end of the stick in health care legislation
The massive US Senate healthcare reform measure passed on Thursday with support from the multibillion drug industry, but makers of cheaper generic rivals are feeling left out in the cold. Generic drugmakers face several obstacles in the bill backed by Democrats that they worry will dampen a potential increase in use even as more people gain access to health insurance and prescription medicines.
The hurdles include extensive protections against generic versions of pricey biotech medicines, an incentive for Medicare recipients to use more brand-name drugs, and a possible end to payments from brandname makers to delay the launch of copy-cat medicines. “The bill passed by the Senate unfortunately amounts to a treasure trove to brand drug companies,” said Generic Pharmaceutical Association president Kathleen Jaeger
[...]Generic makers welcomed the pathway to approval, but the bills provide for a 12-year period of exclusivity for brand-name drugs before a biogeneric can be approved. The Obama administration had sought just five to seven years of protection.