Our health care and patent system is designed to give pharmaceutical companies strong financial incentives to develop new drugs. The system is also set up for innovative products to go generic after a time. This makes those products inexpensive. There’s concern, though, that some companies may collude to keep generics off the market. This could happen if the innovator company pays generic manufacturers not to market a product.
There’s something that just doesn’t sound right about that. Congress is working on legislation to stop the practice, and the House has approved legislation to restrict the ability of companies to enter agreements that keep generic medicines off the market. (U.S. House Approves Restrictions on Brand-Name Drug Agreements,).
Innovator companies and generic manufacturers may have disagreements on when a drug should become available as a generic. These disagreements can lead to litigation. Ideally, the solution to those disagreements shouldn’t be deals that pay off generic companies to keep generic drugs off the market. Deals like that don’t help patients.