Last week, three senators asked a large pharmaceutical company (and five other health companies) to spill the beans and reveal why want to block generic versions of the cholesterol drug Lipitor.
Of course the answer is obvious and if the plan is fully implemented then the patients and tax payers will be the ultimate losers. For more info on this refer to an article on the New York Times website.
“Pfizer has taken unprecedented actions to preserve market share during the next six months, while generic competition is limited and prices remain fairly high. Pfizer is offering discounts to companies that will reject generic prescriptions and substitute Lipitor."
While some companies say they will save money, others do not. The senators said they were concerned about longer term impacts on employers, Medicare and health care costs.
‘We need to take a close look to ensure we’re protecting both taxpayer dollars and access to the medicine patients need,’ Senator Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, said in a statement released with the senators’ letters.
“The letters were signed by Senators Baucus, a Montana Democrat; Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican; and Herb Kohl, the Wisconsin Democrat who is chairman of the Special Committee on Aging. ‘Consumers and taxpayers foot the bill when drug benefit companies and insurers manipulate the marketplace to prevent access to generic drugs for millions of Americans,’ Senator Kohl said in the statement.”
Credit should be given to the senators for giving this Big Pharma company a few hurdles in its effort to dominate the market...however, I wonder if they realise that drugs (regardless of whether they’re best-selling brands or generics) are hardly the best way to address health concerns. Be good if these senators could put a bit more attention to helping stop the influence of the pharmaceutical companies in trying to discredit natural solutions and helping the general public to understand that there are much better alternatives to statin drugs which do nothing to help the overall heart health of the nation.