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Is It Time to Let the Government Manufacture Generic Drugs?

by Countable | 12.18.18

What’s the story?

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has released a bill that would create an Office of Drug Manufacturing with the authority to create generic versions of any drug for which the U.S. government has licensed a patent.

What are both sides saying about the Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act?

“In market after market, competition is dying as a handful of giant companies spend millions to rig the rules, insulate themselves from accountability, and line their pockets at the expense of American families. The solution here is not to replace markets but to fix them.”
  • Warren added: “Today, 40 percent of generic drugs are made by a single company, and the majority are manufactured by only one or two companies. With so little competition for generics, drug makers can push up prices and squeeze consumers without consequence.”
  • The Association for Accessible Medicines, the generic-drug lobby, pushed back against the legislation. “When generics provide Americans with nine out of 10 of their prescriptions at only 23 percent of total spending on drugs, it is hard to fathom why anyone would call this system broken or insist that the government commandeer the business of developing, manufacturing and distributing these medicines,” the group told POLITICO.
“This legislation is an unrealistic distraction from policies that would meaningfully reduce drug prices, such as combating patent abuse and cultivating a robust biosimilars market.”

What do you think?

Do you support the government manufacturing its own generic drugs? Take action above and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Iryna Imago)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(225)
  • Miles
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    It will never be time to let government in private business.

    Like (30)
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  • Alexandra
    Voted Maybe
    12/19/2018
    ···

    It’s time to do something. Too many pharmaceutical companies are buying up smaller ones to gain a monopoly on a drug just to run the price up and make money. It’s getting ridiculous. America seems to be the only developed country suffering.

    Like (29)
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  • MICKEY
    12/19/2018
    ···

    It’s not the generic drug companies that are driving up costs. Generics can’t be manufactured until the original prescription patent expires 20 years later, after which companies use a technique called patent stacking in which they continue placing patents on the superficial aspects like the color of the bottle in order to prolong the time they can maintain a monopoly on their particular drug. Legislation needs to be passed to amend that timeframe and practice to allow for the market competition to flourish. 44% of all prescriptions are filled with generics but only account for 10% of the total cost to to the public, this price gouging and users has to stop.

    Like (22)
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  • Mike
    Voted Yes
    12/19/2018
    ···

    It is a start. Any changes in health care in the US are Herculean given the huge anti-consumer lobby. The fact that a clear majority of people want Medicare for all or some other form of single payer health care and no action is possible out of Congress is a clear indication of who rules.

    Like (21)
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  • ManfromNebraska
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    Government will mess it up and pills will triple in prices. Free market is best!

    Like (20)
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  • Robert
    Voted Yes
    12/19/2018
    ···

    Yes. Manufacture pills and offer a public option for medical care. Then let’s see what real competition looks like!

    Like (19)
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  • Daniel
    12/18/2018
    ···

    I tried looking through the Constitution for anywhere that describes the power or responsibility of the federal government to manufacture anything at all. Not surprisingly, I was unable to find anything.

    Like (13)
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  • Ray
    Voted Maybe
    12/19/2018
    ···

    If we can not manage drug prices to a reasonable level or establish price caps for drugs, then we should consider making it. Congress must require Medicare to negotiate for best price.

    Like (7)
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  • operaman
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    If you want a shortage of drugs, then please allow government to control the manufacturing process.

    Like (17)
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  • SneakyPete
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    THE GOVERNMENTS DUTY IS TO GOVERN NOT RUN A BUSINESS. I’d be adamantly opposed to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed bill that which would create an Office of Drug Manufacturing with the authority to create generic versions of any drug for which the U.S. government has licensed a patent. It’s just another Democratic ploy of Getty the government into the commercial business instead of their mandated duties of legislating. SneakyPete..... 🤔🤷🏼‍♂️🤷‍♀️👎🏻. 12*18*18.....

    Like (15)
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  • JTJ
    Voted No
    12/18/2018
    ···

    Oh hell no, get the government out of healthcare.

    Like (12)
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  • Robert
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    This is ridiculous.

    Like (11)
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  • Greg
    Voted Yes
    12/19/2018
    ···

    Drugs that save lives should not be sold for profit. They should be part of the common good. Nobody should profit off somebody else’s poor health.

    Like (11)
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  • Larry
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    Are you kidding? This is far out of scope of the government's legitimate purpose. The reason drug prices are so high is completely the responsibility of government now. They over regulate all aspects of our health care system. Why in the world are so many medications on a prescription only basis? Seriously? I have to get a prescription from a veterinarian to buy flea and worm medication for my dog!!! Don't blame drug companies. They lobby for this crap, but ultimately it's the government that passed the law. Just say no to government.

    Like (10)
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  • Alex
    Voted Yes
    12/18/2018
    ···

    If it means better prices, then absolutely! People can barely afford their medication as it is, let’s make it more affordable.

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  • Julie
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    Absolutely NO! Government already has too big a hand in controlling pharmaceuticals and the sponsor of this bill already has the death of thousands of chronic pain patients on her hands .. if not on her conscience. This is a direct attempt for cronyism to continue between pharmaceutical manufacturers and payouts/payoffs to greedy corrupt elected officials. Get out of our doctor’s offices and out of practicing medicine without a license all of you politicians! You aren’t welcome, you aren’t wanted ... and you’re not fooling us! Keep your hands off Medicare and Social Security and stop accepting huge fees from pharmaceutical interests ... over $973,000,000 spent lobbying you in 2017. Since you granted them $10B to research NON- opiates ... guess there’s no hoping you will tell the truth about the phony opiate crisis?? (Silence?) Didn’t think so...

    Like (8)
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  • James
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    No Dummies!!! No! Government should not be in the healthcare business! Where in the constitution does it say they should?

    Like (6)
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  • SirRobert
    Voted Yes
    12/19/2018
    ···

    With Medicare and Medicaid alone, billions of dollars could be saved on the cost of prescription drugs. There should be the highest level of oversight on such a program to ensure the people of the United States are the ones that benefit.

    Like (6)
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  • David
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    No. We don’t need the government politicizing drug production.

    Like (5)
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  • ColonelMoose
    Voted No
    12/19/2018
    ···

    Omg can you imagine how badly the government would screw that up? Elizabeth warren needs to be put out to pasture. The government does not manufacture goods. That’s the job of the free market. Take insurance companies out of the equation and prices will drop considerably. Stop lining the pockets of fat cats in blue states.

    Like (5)
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