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Delaying generics using citizen petitions

A study of citizen petitions submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the last 12 years finds that such petitions are being used by drug companies ‘in a last-ditch effort to hold off competition’ [1].

Promoting and regulating generics in Brazil

Generic drug substitution constitutes a core instrument of countries’ strategies to reduce the price of drugs and expand access to health care. To that end, scholars and international organizations have encouraged adoption of a range of policy instruments that countries can use to promote the use of generics, focusing on measures to increase both the demand for and supply of such products.

Rising costs of cancer treatments not matched by clinical efficacy

The high prices of new cancer treatments are a major barrier to access in low-income countries and placing growing pressure on developed countries. In their study, author Hill et al. estimated the lowest possible treatment costs for four new cancer drugs, showing that manufacturing of generics alternatives could significantly reduce treatment costs [1].

Generics and brand-name drugs compared

What differentiates generics from brand-name medications? That is a question that Andrea Bakker from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa tried to answer [1]. In her commentary she explored how differences in licensing affect drug efficacy and how the pharmaceutical landscape in Canada affects patient care.

Switching stable kidney transplant patients to generic tacrolimus safe

Researchers from Chile have found that switching stable kidney transplant patients to generic tacrolimus is safe. However, they caution the transplant community to carefully monitor any switch to generics [1].

Patent and regulatory exclusivities driving generic and follow-on market availability

Daniel Nam reviews the differences between intellectual property exclusivity (patents) and regulatory exclusivities (market exclusivity) in the US [1]. A patent is a grant of property right to an inventor for 20 years from the date of application. Market exclusivity is awarded to manufacturers of first-to-market brand products and excludes other manufacturers from marketing the drug product for a certain period of time, depending on the type of product. Nam explains that these tools are used by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to achieve a balance between innovation and equitable access to medications.

Addressing patient misconceptions about generics

In the face of increasing drug costs, substitution by generics is often used as a strategy by healthcare systems to rein in expenditure. However, patient misconceptions about generics can hinder such substitutions. Researchers Sanchez and Zurek discuss how pharmacists can improve this situation by educating patients on the use and safety of generics [1].

Policies to address price rises in old generics

Old, off-patent drugs are becoming increasingly expensive. But how can policymakers address the problem? Naren P Tallapragada from the Harvard Medical School discusses the underlying causes of the high-cost off-patent drug problem and proposes some policy solutions that could address the problem [1].

Combating shortages and price increases in the US generics market

As a result of recent price increases and shortages, the US generics market has come under increasing scrutiny [1]. In a recent report by Wiske et al. authors from Brown, Duke and Harvard Universities discussed ways to increase the competitiveness of the US generics market that might address these problems [2].

Therapeutic substitution could save Americans US$73 billion

Therapeutic substitution could save the America healthcare system US$73 billion and patients US$24.6 billion in out-of-pocket expenses, according to US researchers [1].

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