(Boston) -- AP News
In the offices of iDrug iNternational, a group of men sit around a table. They're here to discuss a strategy and plan to "rebrand" their generic drugs that the company manufactures at high profit.
"It's our cash cow," a vice president said, preferring to stay anonymous. "We have to engage full damage control."
What's at stake are billions of dollars of manufactured generic versions of common branded medications like Synthroid, Lipitor, and Percocet. A recent mega study found evidence that branded medications do, in fact, work better in the human body. As it turns out, "yellow Norcos" are actually more effective at reducing pain in selected populations.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not return repeated phone calls for comment. The FDA is responsible for testing and labeling generics as either therapeutically equivalent or substandard. A former employee for the FDA, Jeremy Donovan, was willing to go on record backing up the study. "The study is probably accurate. We spent most of our time at the FDA on xBox. When a new generic came in for review, we just laughed and signed off on it. Besides, they usually brought us lunch with the paperwork."
Pharmacists are taking the full brunt of the revelation. Many pharmacists are being harassed at pharmacies all across the nation for standing behind the FDA for years.
"I don't feel safe going to work anymore," said Dr. Jason Bourne, a PharmD working at Rite Aid who is aware his name sounds like the movie character. "People are demanding refunds. They throw bottles of levothyroxine at me and the technicians and demand we fill them with brand only. We don't have have enough brand Synthroid for everyone. We just don't."
The companies that manufacture brand name pharmaceuticals are under fire as well. Pfizer, the company which brought Lipitor to market, is accused of not doing a thing to protect their own product. In a twist of irony, a detailed analysis of company employee records revealed that most of them buy generics of their own company's branded medications.
|Sheldon Goldstein of Suem and Milket|