‘Healthy’ Profits for Drug Companies, High Drug Prices ‘Irk’ Consumers
The nation's leading drug makers posted "sharply higher earnings" this week -- a "bright spot" in an "ailing" economy -- but consumers, "already upset about high prices," point to the industry's "healthy results" as a "signal" for reform, the (Gellene, Los Angeles Times, 4/27).Los Angeles Times reports. On Thursday, the Gray Panthers, an advocacy group for seniors, sued Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. over "tactics" the company used to block "cheap knockoffs" of BuSpar, a popular anti-anxiety drug, from entering the market. Bristol-Myers declined to comment, but in the past has "denied any wrongdoing." In addition to the lawsuit, Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) plan to reintroduce legislation next week that would "make it tougher" for drug firms to extend patents on "top-selling" drugs by closing loopholes in the Hatch-Waxman Act that have allowed companies to block generic competition (Gellene, Los Angeles Times, 4/27).