A trillion of anything is difficult to wrap one’s head around, whether it’s the number of grains of sand on a beach or stars in the sky. It’s so much easier for the human mind to look at such a quantity as the sum of its parts rather than on the basis of its individual components.
Over the last few years of DSN’s coverage of the impending patent cliff and how it would affect the generic drug industry, IMS Health VP industry relations Doug Long predicted that the gradual commoditization of primary care drugs — long the lifeblood of generic drug makers — would lead to consolidation of the industry.
2012 is turning out to be a pretty important year for generic drugs, important enough that some of the things happening over the past several months have begged comparison to 1984, probably the biggest milestone year for the industry.
One issue that is unlikely to see resolution this year is the growing problem of drug shortages. As of October 2011, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists found shortages of 168 drugs.
The Federal Trade Commission released a report Tuesday finding that drug companies entered 28 deals that the FTC called anticompetitive and said would increase healthcare costs for consumers and the government.
Two senators are trying to get the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to take up a bill that would ban so-called "pay-for-delay" patent settlements between brand and generic drug companies, according to published reports.
Health care is like precision engineering; tweaking one element ever so slightly can mean the difference between a healthy life and an early death or, in the case of drug spending, between nearly $50,000 and just north of $1,000.