MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – The manipulation of US regulations, aimed at ensuring prescription medicines are not misused, leads to $5.4 billion in lost savings a year, a report by consulting firm Matrix Global Advisors shows.
“This paper identifies $5.4 billion in annual pharmaceutical spending that could be saved if generic versions if the forty identified drugs were allowed to come to market,” the firm’s report, released Wednesday, stated.
“For patients waiting for generic alternatives to expensive brand medicines, every day counts. For lawmakers struggling to balance the budget, every dollar matters,” said Ralph G. Neas, president and chief executive of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA). “This study shows that by using safety programs as a smokescreen for anti-competitive practices, some brand companies are delaying generic choices for patients and driving up drug costs.”
Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) that supervise the distribution of medicines have been used to preclude generic drug producers from obtaining the drugs to test their own versions. Brand manufacturers have started imposing distribution restrictions on non-REMS products.
The report goes on to say that if REMS and non-REMS cases of misuse were to grow in number, the lost savings would grow with them.
Generic drugs are drugs created on the basis of a branded medicine, patented by a certain company. Generic drugs are allowed on the market only once the patent owned by the brand-name manufacturer of the particular drug has expired.