— A pharmaceutical company based on Purdue University intellectual property has launched a product line that will allow researchers and medical professionals the ability to produce larger amounts of compounds that could lead to new disease-fighting drugs. Then, each pharmaceutical company pays a portion of this sum that roughly corresponds to their market share of branded prescription drugs. Unlike most taxes, the Branded Prescription Drug Fee is calculated, not as a percentage of pharmaceutical company’s total sales, but in proportion to its share of the branded prescription drugs market.
This would allow generic versions of drugs onto the market, which would go a long way toward keeping health care costs down and not driving the uninsured into debt. 123 The settlement is related to the company’s illegal promotion of prescription drugs, its failure to report safety data, 124 bribing doctors, and promoting medicines for uses for which they were not licensed. 89 Because medical research and development of drugs to treat such diseases is financially disadvantageous, companies that do so are rewarded with tax reductions, fee waivers, and market exclusivity on that drug for a limited time (seven years), regardless of whether the drug is protected by patents.
The article noted that major healthcare organizations such as National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the World Economic Forum, the Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Food and Drug Administration had encouraged greater interactions between physicians and industry in order to bring greater benefits to patients. Since brand name drugs generally cost more than generic drugs, what doctors prescribe has major effects on Medicare and other payers in the health care system,” he said. ProPublica analyzed the prescribing patterns of doctors who wrote at least 1,000 prescriptions in Medicare’s drug program, known as Part D. Across five common specialties, as doctors received more money, they tended to prescribe a higher percentage of brand-name drugs.
Nationwide, nearly nine in 10 cardiologists who wrote at least 1,000 prescriptions for Medicare patients received payments from a drug or device company in 2014, while seven in 10 internists and family practitioners did. ProPublica’s analysis doesn’t prove industry payments sway doctors to prescribe particular drugs, or even a particular company’s drugs. Doctors have long disputed that the payments they receive from pharmaceutical companies have any relationship to how they prescribe drugs.
When the market exclusivity on a branded small-molecule drug (which refers to most traditional pharmaceutical drugs) ends, other companies may produce generic versions of the drug. Brand-name drugs refer to drugs that are marketed by a pharmaceutical company (or companies in the case of co-branded drugs) that owns the patent.