The Big Pharma Tactic That Costs Consumers

What's Hot

5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

7 Foods That Can Lengthen Your LifeFamily

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

New Email Phishing Scam Targets Amazon ShoppersMore

7 Government Freebies You Can Get TodayFamily

Drug manufacturers and consumer advocates are waging a battle in court that could help determine how much you pay for medications.

Drug manufacturers and consumer advocates are waging a battle in court.

At stake is the lifespan of drug patents that allow pharmaceutical companies to charge higher prices, potentially costing consumers millions of dollars.

A tactic known as “product hopping” allows drug manufacturers to extend their patents on drugs and thus prevent competitors from creating cheaper generic equivalents, Consumer Reports explains.

For example, a decade ago, a cheaper generic version of the antibiotic Doryx (doxycycline) was about to emerge. Doryx’s manufacturer, Warner Chilcott, stopped making the drug in its original capsule form and started making it in tablet form, according to Consumer Reports.

That action prevented the company Mylan from being able to release a generic tablet version of the medication.

Such actions by Warner Chilcott (which was acquired by Actavis in 2013) are now the subject of a lawsuit.

A federal court judge sided with Warner Chilcott in April, stating that it did not violate anti-trust laws. But Mylan is appealing that verdict — with support from national consumer-advocate organizations like Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.

A legal brief associated with the case explains:

“Product hopping … has become a well-known tactic in the pharmaceutical industry that prevents generic medication from competing in the marketplace. Without generic competition, name-brand manufacturers continue to reap higher profits and consumers pay higher prices.”

As this legal battle wages on, consumers hoping to reduce their prescription costs have other options. Online pharmacies can save you money, but you need to choose wisely.

For more, check out the Money Talks News stories “Online Pharmacies: What You Don’t Know Could Kill You” and “Should You Use an Overseas Pharmacy?

What’s your take on pharmaceutical companies’ practices like product hopping? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 15 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,775 more deals!