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  1. #1
    DF Admin 4me2's Avatar
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    Bad News Drug firms 'block' cheap medicine

    Drug firms 'block' cheap medicine


    Generic drug companies complain it is difficult to get drugs on the market


    Drug companies are blocking or delaying the entry of cheaper generic medicines into the EU, pushing up medicine bills, the European Commission has said.
    Their actions cost EU healthcare providers 3bn euros ($3.9bn; £2.5bn) in savings between 2000 and 2007, it said.
    It added that drug firms used legal action and multiple patents to stop rivals getting to market. In one case, there were 1,300 patents for one drug.
    The Commission may open antitrust proceedings against drug companies.
    Market access
    Generic drug companies - which sell cheaper versions of drugs once the patent has expired - have long complained that it is difficult to get their drugs to market in Europe. Big Pharma invests heavily in the development of new drugs


    The report found that owners of original drugs often intervened in national approval procedures for generic medicines.
    There were nearly 700 cases of reported patent litigation and more than 200 settlements between brand name drug companies and generic companies.
    More than 10% of these settlements limited the entry of the generic drug to the market.
    Fine threat
    "Market entry of generic companies and the development of new and more affordable medicines is sometimes blocked or delayed, at significant cost to healthcare systems, consumers and taxpayers," said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.
    "It is still early days but the Commission will not hesitate to open antitrust cases against companies where there are indications that the antitrust rules may have been breached," she added.
    The Commission could impose large fines on drug companies if they have engaged in unfair practices.
    In 2005, AstraZeneca was fined 60m euros for blocking cheaper rivals to Losec, its heartburn and ulcer pill.
    Pressure mounts
    The Commission report increases the pressure on the global pharmaceuticals industry, known as Big Pharma, which face stiff rivalry from generic drug firms. Major pharmaceutical companies invest heavily in the research and development of new drugs and their profits often rely on the performance of a few key blockbuster drugs. Barack Obama, the US President-elect, is also expected to try to cut costs as part of the reform of healthcare coverage in the US.



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  2. #2
    VIP Member CzarJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Drug firms 'block' cheap medicine

    They've been controlling the market like this for decades. If satan does exist, then he's probably got a position on every board of the large Pharmaceutical companies. I generally don't believe anything is inherently evil, but the business practices of the pharmaceutical industry come pretty close.

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