FDA wants to shorten new drug monopolies to cut costs

Published by Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) – In an effort to increase competition and bring down prescription drug prices, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb wants to speed approval times for rivals to promising new first-to-market medicines.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief has made a commitment to speeding up approvals of cheap generic medicines, which he said is his agency’s main contribution to the Trump administration’s push to cut drug costs to consumers. Gottlieb said the primary effort is being led by the Department of Health and Human Services.

“So we’re doing it on the generic side, but we’re also thinking of doing it on the new drug side,” Gottlieb said in an interview on Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, the world’s biggest cancer conference.

For more ASCO coverage, see: here

If companies have breakthrough products and they have invested a lot of capital, they should have an opportunity to price that product based on what the market will bear, Gottlieb said.

“They’re going to have a monopoly, but that monopoly shouldn’t last forever,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to facilitate.”