Both NBC and ABC examined the pharmaceuticals industry. ABC's John McKenzie (subscription required) looked at pediatric medicine. The FDA does not require separate testing of drugs for children and adults. So doctors have to resort to guesswork about the efficacy and dosage of approved medicines when they prescribe them to children: an arthritis drug is not powerful enough; an asthma drug stunts growth; an anesthesia drug can kill; a chemotherapy drug just does not work. "A child's body can process a drug so differently."
For NBC's In Depth, CNBC's David Faber took on generics, the discount-priced copies of prescription brands that are supposed to appear when patents expire: "Cadillac drugs at Chevrolet prices," his physician source called them. The problem is that the date of expiration can be disputed between the makers of the generics and the name brand…those disputes turn into lawsuits…to avoid trials companies often settle out of court…the upshot is that brand name pharmaceutical companies pay the competition not to produce. "Pay to Delay," Faber dubbed it, as cheaper brands are blocked from patients.
You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.