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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)

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