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If you haven't noticed, prescription drugs are expensive. Some of them are really expensive. That's why I love it when a drug my family uses goes generic. I always look at the new price and think to myself "that's what it should have cost all along!'. Heck, when one of the popular allergy drugs went generic recently, I figured I could now do that addition to the house we need. The difference in price when some drugs go generic is huge. So, as you might imagine, the drug manufacturers can come up with some creative ways to hold on to their patent. Which is why a little news snippet I saw recently caught my eye.
Doryx is an antibiotic used for acne, and the maker is an Irish company, Warner Chilcott. Doryx was in line to lose its patent when Warner came up with a great new idea that not only would save the patent, but also provide a real benefit to patients: they etched an additional score into the pill's surface. I am not making this up. Warner argued to the FDA that generic tablets with only one score in the pill's surface "would raise public health concerns." Would it ever. Can you imagine?
Of course, Warner didn't mention the fact that they would lose a ton of money if Doryx went generic. In the U.S. alone in 2010, they made over $170 million on the drug. But hey, you can't put a price on safety, so I guess it's worth the difference between the generic brand and the $170 million Doryx brand to have that extra etching on there. I know I feel safer. Don't you?