The pharmaceutical industry produces billions in revenue each year. Residents of South Florida spend top dollar on the best-named brands for their ailments. A recent article reported a major development in the next two years that could save you money, but could end up costing you your health.
The Los Angeles Times reported that 6 of the 10 top prescription drugs will be losing their patents. Among those drugs are Lipitor, Plavix and Enbrel. With the end of their patents approaching, drug companies will pounce on the opportunity to make the drugs.
While more generics will mean more savings, it may also mean more risk for injury from a medication accident. This means that along with the dangers of pharmaceutical error and medical negligence, consumers could potentially be injured from a sub-standard, defective product. While the story noted that the FDA maintains that generic drugs have the same quality, it also pointed out that 81 people in the U.S. and Germany died from taking a generic blood thinner made by Baxter Healthcare. Furthermore, a report from John Hopkins University researchers stated that there is a 10% chance that switching to an anti-epilepsy generic drug would change the concentration that the medication reaches once it is in the body.
It is imperative that developments in medicine lead to better medicine at a more affordable price without leading to injury or illness. Drug companies must be held accountable for making quality products which are safe for consumers.