When Is Cheaper Not???

Check this out. Yup. EpiPen pricing again. We haven’t talked about this inflammatory issue in quite some time. But here we go again.

Strange back story here. The FDA proudly announced that in approving a TEVA generic for EpiPen, it was offering the public a “lower-cost option.” Think about that for a minute. Last I looked, the job of the FDA was to make sure that the drugs that are marketed in the U.S. are “safe and effective.” Silly me. Somehow, I never understood the FDA’s charter included commenting upon the economics of the pharmaceutical industry. The plot thickens, when the list price of the Teva generic turned out to be no cheaper than what was already on the market, the FDA jumped in to note that it has been their experience that it takes three or more generics in the marketplace to significantly lower prices. Other pundits jumped in to note the obvious, i.e., the “list price” is not really what people pay for a drug.

Bottom Line. The FDA has declared that it is making an “overarching effort to remove barriers” to drug access by approving generics. As we have previously discussed, having other arms of the Federal Gov’t, state governments and numerous other vectors working on decreasing drug prices would seem to be enough already. Do we really need the FDA to take on this role? 

 I am going with a “No” on that one! 

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