Xp stuck on validating identity
If all you want to do is synthesize an active ingredient in powder form, and you’re not too concerned about staying on the right side of the law, it costs pennies and takes however long you need to Fed Ex something from China.
If you also want FDA approval, it costs million and takes two years.
Like many people, I recently read about Turing Pharmaceuticals’ purchase of anti-toxoplasma drug Daraprim and subsequent price increase of 5000%.
Vox and Marginal Revolution have already done some good work addressing this particular case, but have only touched upon the broader issue: that everything about generic medications is approximately this terrible.
To have an ANDA approved, it typically requires an investment of about million, and it takes a total of two to three years to get the drug to market…in addition to these costs, a company should budget 15% for legal fees, because wherever there is a big manufacturer with a sizable market share involved, they will sue, just to try to eliminate more competition from the market.
This adds an important extra dimension to Vox’s theory that it’s just too hard to start making a generic medication.
You could only fill about a quarter of a baseball stadium with the number of people who take the drug in a given year.
After twenty years, the drug becomes public domain and anybody who wants can compete to produce it, usually leading to a precipitous fall in costs.
But Daraprim is fifty years old; its patent is long-since expired.
As far as I’m concerned, the interesting aspect of this case isn’t just that the CEO of Turing is an asshole who is lining his own pockets with zillions of dollars by gouging AIDS patients.
I assume most pharmaceutical company CEOs are assholes who would line their own pockets with zillions of dollars by gouging AIDS patients if the opportunity presented itself.Remember, Daraprim is used by about 10,000 people per year, and before the recent Turing price markup, it cost .50 per pill x eighty pills per treatment.