2010-05-26

You MUST Sell Us Your Product, Or Else!

See this article for reference.

I am no fan of the FTC, but this is beyond the pale. In testimony to Congress, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz that deals between brand and generic manufacturers cause "enormous" consumer harm.

For those of you outside the industry, here's how it works.

A brand drug manufacturer has a HUGE drug, making billions of dollars of revenue per year. Everyone loves this drug, it solves an important and widespread health problem in our lives. Near the end of the drug's patent life, the generic manufacturers start purchasing the active ingredients and get ready to send out huge shipments of a generic version of the drug.

Ordinarily, once the patent expires, pharmacists start substituting the cheaper generic drug so that consumers don't have to pay as much for the same pill. But in some cases, the brand company says to the generic company, "Hey buddy... Why don't I pay you a couple of billion dollars to just hold off on production for a little while? You get money, I get money, everyone's happy." So that's what happens.

Somehow, the FTC believes that this is not a fair and legitimate business practice. In the FTC's telling of the story, as soon as a generic company can produce a drug, they are OBLIGATED to sell it! Otherwise consumers lose big!!! Nevermind that consumers love the brand drug. Nevermind that it solves our health problem. Nevermind that neither the brand companies nor the generic companies are unhappy with the way things are.

No, instead generic manufacturers must be forced to forego legitimate business deals so that they can start cranking out cheapies for Jon Leibowitz.

I don't know what to call this, other than Whore Culture. Everyone believes that everyone else exists solely to pleasure themselves.