Sneaky deals are keeping cheaper generic medicines off the market

Los Angeles Times

It’s bad enough drug companies charge sky-high prices for brand-name prescription meds and raise those prices with regular frequency. Some also cut secret deals to keep cheaper generic alternatives off the market — a practice known as pay for delay.

It’s a bad-faith ploy that affects millions of people, potentially endangering the lives of patients who can’t afford needed medicine.

And it could become illegal in California.

A bill — AB 824 — now making its way through the Legislature would prohibit agreements among drug companies involving “anything of value” changing hands to delay introduction of a generic alternative to a brand-name medicine.