Pharmaceutical coalition lobbies Fla. gov. to veto comparison study

6/3/2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The Coalition for Affordable Prescriptions, which consists of several pharmaceutical companies and organizations, is lobbying Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a proposed study that would compare the effectiveness of generics and brand-name drugs, according to published reports. The groups say that the study will be, “intentionally written to deliver a biased conclusion that will keep FDA-approved, safe, effective and affordable generic prescriptions from Florida consumers.”

The proposed study was added to the General Appropriations Act by Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, requiring the Florida Department of Health to commission a study of the Florida Pharmacy Practice Act. Bogdanoff said she added the provisional language to get more information on the potential for some generic drugs to cause negative reactions in patients suffering from serious conditions, such as organ transplant patients and epileptics. “A minor change in a drug can throw someone into an epileptic seizure if they don’t react well to that particular drug.”

The provisional language, inserted late in the legislative session, calls for the department to form a panel to conduct the study. The Board of Medicine, the Board of Pharmacy, the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, the Florida Kidney Foundation and the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida will each select one member.

The coalition believes the study is meant to be seen as well intended, but really is nothing more than a “smokescreen for particular brand manufacturers looking to monopolize on an otherwise free marketplace.” The coalition also pointed out that a lot of money would be lost if patients switched from generics to brand-name drugs, about $52 million just from Medicaid.

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