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Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay

Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay

In the medical crisis, medicine prices are increasing substantially as more ground breaking drugs are being created. From those who are hit hard by this crisis to health care providers, businesses and large pharmaceutical companies, each is affect the generic-brand name controversy. Generic drugs are a new option to these drugs without the sky rocketed prices that monopolistic brand called pharmaceutical companies are establishing. Consumers are trapped in between the two main, having to choose between their health care provider and the pharmaceutical companies. Since universal drugs are popular among consumers, many have questioned if it is safe due to low costs. Can there actually be a two way solution-having generic drugs that are both low priced and just as effective as the generic drug? Well, there are two edges of the storyline and consumers want to know about any of itDrug Patents And General Alternatives Essay..  Myths often cover the reality behind the medication companies and the regulation that comes after with the ongoing production of new drugs.


Generic Drugs: What are generic drugs?

Generic Drugs are copies of brand-name drugs minus the high costs. Universal companies have the ability to take good thing about these inventions and create copies of brand name drugs. They do not need the original research to generate discover the medicine; therefore, allowing it to be sold at a lower cost. Generic drugs can be found not only as prescriptions, but over the counter (OTC) as well. This means that anyone can purchase it. These drugs, on the other palm, can only just be produced and sold after the original drug has gone out of patent. Although they are only “copies, ” they contain the same substances as any other brand name drug.

One reason why generic drugs are important is that it creates healthcare more affordable, brings consumers significant personal savings. Nonetheless, the FDA, who regulates these drugs before syndication to the consumers, is making significant changes to allowing people to be able to obtain these drugs. They are speeding up its techniques and hiring more experts to test the grade of these drugs. However, with low costs, people come to mind about the grade of these drugs (Meadows, pg 2). Legislation of the universal drugs is just as important as brand name drugs. The FDA is serious about putting the word out about generic drugs by promoting awareness of not only of its cheap prices, but of its effectiveness and quality, as well.

While these common drugs appear to become more beneficial, the brand name drugs should not be pushed apart. Generics are “only possible with the creation of new and progressive drugs. ” This technique, nevertheless, costs vast amounts of dollars of purchases. It’s estimated that the development of a new drug averages $897 million (Meadows, pg 1). Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay. As the FDA Consumer Mag writes, “Without fair compensation from important patent production, medication research and development would stop. ” Which means that even though generics play an integral role in making healthcare less expensive, there is absolutely no question that brand-name drugs are just like essential (Meadows, pg1).

Cost: Choosing cost over quality?

The climb in medical costs is mainly because of the sharp raises in prices of prescription drugs that are posed by these large pharmaceutical companies. Spending money on drugs is no more a problem for the poor. It has started to affect even the firms who are paying for healthcare. Businesses are starting to shrink their health care plan for their workers. Of course, older people is the most affect. Older persons, who used to rely on their doctor and their supplementary insurance, can no longer do that any more. The best problem is that healthcare is shrinking as the prices of prescription medications continue to increase speedily. Therefore, universal drugs are a great alternative to face these problems. People like older persons and the ones who are poor are more likely to purchase generics alternatively than brand drugs during this time of healthcare crisis (Angell, pg 13). For one thing, brand name drugs are increasing in prices and many insurance companies don’t cover it. They’ll, instead, supply the generic alternative of the drug to an individual whether it’s available because of the low costs, unless otherwise given by the physician.

Prescription drugs require billions in investment for it to be made and delivered to the general public. What sets generic drugs apart from the brand drugs is mainly the cost. Common drugs can be 30 to 70 percent cheaper than its brand name contrary; sometimes even 85% cheaper (FDA, 2010). Regarding to Graph 1, a patient who has abdominal ulcers should pay about $164. 27 for per month supply of the drug called Prevacid, which is the brand called version, while on the other hands, paying $25 for the general version called ameprozole. Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay. (Blue Shield, 2008). Common drugs have grown to be popular among American consumers within this past two decades. In 1984, less than 19% of most drugs were generics. But today, more than 54% of drugs that are prescribed are generics (General public Residents, 2010).

These cost effective drugs are question because consumers don’t see a reason what sort of drug can be the same but a lot cheaper as well. According to the FDA, the low costs of the drugs are due to low investment in research and development. While brand companies put billions into investment, universal companies really don’t have to purchase this. The high prices are not due mainly to high costs of research but also to marketing. Each day, Americans are faced with billboards and advertisements about these new progressive drugs and how they are useful and important. Element of what individuals are paying for when they are purchasing the drug addresses these massive advertisements by the pharmaceutical companies.

Regulation: What is the role of the FDA?

The quality of the drugs will not depend exclusively on the generic or branded manufacturer but also relies on the legislation of the U. S. Food and Drug Supervision. While companies look after earnings, the FDA is a government organization that has a goal to protect the lives of consumers. Its evaluation on the security of new drugs is really important and needs to be done before any hazard can be enforced on patients. The FDA, represented by Gottllieb, talks about in the speech that no edges are being taken to either preventing pharmaceutical companies or making consumers pay more (Gottlieb, 2010). For every drug, they validate that no area results or any potential risks to drugs being released to the general public. At the end, the FDA strongly encourages the use of common drugs because they may have tested and assume that it’ll be as effective while being cost effective. It also stimulates brand name companies because continuing of invention and the gain access to of new drugs by consumers is of much importance.

Regulation of drugs by the FDA is stringent. Based on the US Food and Medicine Supervision (FDA), “To get FDA agreement, a generic medicine must:

contain the same active ingredients as the innovator medicine (inactive ingredients may vary) Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay.

be indistinguishable in strength, dose form, and way of administration

have the same use indications

be bioequivalent which means it delivers the same amount of elements in to the bloodstream

raw materials must meet up with the same requirements for identification, strength, purity, and quality placed by the U. S. Pharmacopoeia

be manufactured under the same strict criteria of FDA’s good processing practice regulations necessary for innovator products”

One question about general drugs is its rules by the FDA when compared with the brand name medicine or the guide drug. Does generic mean lower cost and lower security? A few instances of studies have been made on universal drugs saying that it includes potential risks. In 2008, it was reported a drug called Digitek, a universal of gidoxin, were being produced large tablets. Actavis, the company producing the general, realized that there were about 20 large tablets in a batch around 5 million (FDA, 2010). This brought on a lot of questioning of the regulation by the FDA. Although they reacted aggressively, it is assumed that regulation of the generic drugs by the FDA is a lot easier for common than for brand drugs. These original drugs that are first tested are positioned under greater restrictions than general drugs. The brand drugs have to go many tests, including clinical studies. It can be properly assumed that brand drugs are safer even though its costs are higher. Matching to Meadows, under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Take action of 1984, which is also called the Hatch-Waxman Work, generic companies don’t have to repeat expensive clinical trials on the general drugs (Meadow, pg 3). There is certainly one flaw which is that these drugs don’t need to pass clinical tests. Therefore it can be carefully assumed that “what’s chemically equivalent will not imply it is clinically comparative” (Street Back Foundation, 2010). Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay.

Bioequivalence: How exactly does this work?

The issue of bioequivalence is a key aspect of this generic-brand name controversy. General drugs are cheap; however, the potency of these drugs is questioned. According to the FDA, “Generic drugs are required to have the same active component, strength, medication dosage form, and path of supervision as the brand name (or reference) product. Common drugs need not support the same inactive elements as the brand product. These substances will determine whether the drug is chemically like the original copyrighted or brand name drug. However, the quality of these substances is also important. Predicated on what the street Back Foundation writes, the ingredients used in the drug production aren’t of good quality. These ingredients that used to be taken from Western Europe are not being taken from China, Japan, South Korean and Eastern Europe (Road Back Groundwork). These variants ultimately impact the drugs and the FDA accepts that. This is a big difference in the performance of an drug.

The FDA also states that the general drug that is modeled following the brand name one must perform “approximately” the same way as the brand drug. But what does indeed approximately signify? Well, the FDA allows a bioequivalence selection of plus or minus 20% of the initial drug, meaning that it can have a total of 40% difference. Such big difference can affect the way the absorbance of the drug in a person. It can be not as effective or even damaging in worse cases. However, the FDA only reinsures that the drug is doing the same manner as the reference product with the allowance of small modifications (FDA). Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay. Versions are always possible; they can even occur in mass creation of the drug and can be somewhat different from package to bundle.

Monopoly: Will patents give them control?

The FDA regulates drugs and the allowance of a certain drug to be distributed into the market. Drug patents are essential to drug companies, allowing patenting the drug itself, the techniques of its use, the formulation or the process of making it. Patents can stop any other company from making to retailing the drug minus the innovator company’s authorization. At exactly the same time, the brand name companies will fight to keep this drug to themselves because they do not want universal companies to sell the same drug at a cheaper price. Universal drugs, ultimately, triggers drops in sales of the drug by the brand name companies; therefore, kicking them from the game. As a result of this big industry, brand companies still want to manage this utilizing the law to press their way through. Big drug companies learn how to play the overall game and they will do everything they can to stop common companies.

Pharmaceutical companies can be in comparison to monopolies. They can control the costs of the drugs that they develop. These companies put in billions on inventions of new drugs, leading to them with the allowance of experiencing patents on their drug. Every time a company makes a new drug, these are permitted to put a patent with them. A patent on the drug usually is maintained for 20 years and they’re in a position to make as much money as they need on it being that they are in a position to control the prices. This is one way pharmaceutical companies generate income on brand name drugs. However, what goes on after 20 years? Drugs need to go away many regulations, whether they are new drugs or imitations of patented drugs. If general drugs are being made, there is no doubt that the sales of the brand name drugs will drop while the sales of the general alternative increase.

The Pharmaceutical industry is very competitive and companies are willing to do whatever they can to halt or even stop generics from being on the market. Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay. In such a industry, the only thing that helps to protect the drugs from other rivals is patents (Baker, pg 1). Different establishments have different patenting effects. Such drugs require million of investment in the technology from it while costly hardly any to make imitations by universal companies. General companies usually apply for the production of a universal drug at the FDA right when patents are going to expire and this brings great injury to the patent holder. Such companies will most likely fight to decelerate this technique by creating loopholes for the common company. They could sue for infringement of the drug; therefore, delaying the procedure in which it could be sold. This may delay the access of a common drug from four month up to forty-four weeks (Meadows, pg 3).

These innovator companies are also being secured by the NDA. This “back-up” plan helps the company regain deficits by using other approved drugs or by partnering with general companies or having subsidiary companies (Wagh, pg1). Alternatively, many of these pharmaceutical companies who are making the “brand-name” drugs are also the ones who are making the universal drugs. Although from a point, it seems like universal drug companies are taking over the market after the patent expires from the drug, it is not really the case since it can be the same company placing out the general drug, but just in a lower price. It is similar to Robert A. Hardt’s justification that the drug manufacturers aren’t only caring about making earnings nevertheless they are also caring about the general public health. The continuation of research and development is exactly what allows universal to be produced (Hardt, pg 57).

It seems that there surely is a lot of competition between universal and innovator companies. As you company benefits, the other one is at a damage; sales can skyrocket and plunge at the same time. However, there is also competition among common companies themselves. Universal Drug companies can also get exclusivity for a drug from each other. Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay. The exclusivity act allows any common drug company a 180-day period to make and sell the drug while fighting with other companies. (Wagh, pg 3) As a result of this competition, additionally, it may drive prices even lower that it’s suppose to be. Corresponding to Meadows, the Hatch-Waxman Function is actually increasing competition between universal and brand companies. This can help keep drug costs down and also causes innovator companies to develop new drugs. It really is a two way split that benefits both types of companies as well as consumers who are counting on these newer, far better and cheaper drugs (Meadows, pg 3).


There are both cons and benefits to the generic-brand name drug controversy. However, the consumers should be informed about it. The FDA goes on to modify these drugs and the drugs should be just like safe and effective as the original-brand called drug. Pharmaceutical companies continue steadily to regulate the high prices of brand drugs because they have to make profit from it after their investments on research and development as well as the marketing costs of putting the drug out there for consumers to be educated about it. These are creating new drugs that are in the end supporting patients and their health problems. With these new drugs, the FDA regulates and studies them before it is directed at patients. However, new alternatives like universal drugs are being marketed because it will not only help patients nevertheless they are also cost-friendly, almost one-third cheaper than the original brand drug. In the long run, these brand name pharmaceutical companies will continue steadily to battle to keep generic companies out of the market since it is affecting the sales of the earnings. While this is going on, consumers can get quality drugs along with cost effective benefit. Common drugs will be in the same way effective and safe as the brand drugs.  Drug Patents And General Alternatives Essay.


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