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GPhA president releases statement on the Hatch Waxman Act’s 30th anniversary

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act — more commonly known as the Hatch Waxman Act — which enabled manufacturers to bring generic versions of pharmaceuticals to market more easily, GPHA president Ralph Neas issued the following the statement:
 
“When President Ronald Reagan signed the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act 30 years ago today, few could imagine how the law would transform the healthcare landscape. Today, we know that this landmark ‘Hatch-Waxman’ legislation is responsible for improving the lives of millions of Americans by creating a new framework allowing safe, affordable generic drugs to come to the market.
 
It is instructive to look back to 1984 and note that when forecasting the law’s success, even its most enthusiastic supporters’ predictions proved wholly inadequate. Even adjusting for inflation, it is clear that the law has outpaced the greatest expectations of its champions. At the time, proponents of the law stated that, if passed, it could save Americans $1 billion. Clearly, time has proved them wrong: That prediction falls dramatically short of the savings from generic drugs in 2013 alone. This year’s Generic Drug Savings in the United States report, compiled by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics on behalf of GPhA, showed that generics saved $239 billion in 2013. At a time when health costs in America are threatening the sustainability of the nation’s budget, the study found that generic drugs have saved $1.46 trillion dollars over the past 10 years, contributing to the recent CBO decrease of health cost projections for the coming years.
 
It is important to remember, however, that savings are only part of the remarkable track record of achievement of the Hatch-Waxman law. In fact, the law set out to accomplish two goals: to encourage innovation of new therapies and to generate competition from lower-cost generic medicines to drive down costs. To do so, it created consistent and rigorous standards for generic manufacturers to prove their products are equivalent to brand drugs.  At the same time, it extended patent protections for brand companies. Thirty years later, by any measure, the law has been an astounding success on both fronts.
 
Generic medicines make up 86% of the drugs dispensed in 2013, up from only 18% in the pre-Hatch-Waxman era. At the same time, the brand industry has flourished, with more new drug breakthroughs over the last 30 years than ever before.
 
The Hatch-Waxman Act demonstrates that good policy that embraces compromise can benefit all Americans. Brand drug makers have profited from a reasonable extension of patent protections, and generic manufacturers have benefited as well, growing into a thriving industry that has produced approximately 12,000 safe, more affordable versions of brand drugs.  The real beneficiaries, however, are patients and taxpayers. Americans now enjoy access to more breakthrough drugs than ever, while saving hundreds of billions of dollars every year. The Hatch-Waxman Act is more than the cornerstone of the modern generic pharmaceutical industry; it is nothing short of a remarkable bipartisan legislative triumph.
 
Today, the generic industry’s future could not be brighter. The Hatch-Waxman law created a strong foundation for a dynamic and evolving generic drug industry, and with emerging opportunities from a global marketplace, expanded health coverage access, and the needs of an aging population, the industry has never been stronger. As we look forward to the next frontier of affordable medicines, biosimilars, a recent study by Express Scripts estimates that hundreds of billions of dollars in savings are at stake.  Over 10 years, the report showed, the United States would save $250 billion if just the 11 likeliest biosimilars would enter the market.
 
We must embrace the spirit of the Hatch-Waxman law and build on its remarkable achievements. It is essential to recognize that balancing competition with access to affordable medicines can revolutionize the market, offer consumers quality and safe choices, and inspire innovation. ”
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P&G’s vice chairman Werner Geissler to retire

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble has announced that Werner Geissler, vice chairman and special adviser to the chairman and CEO, will retire from the company on Dec. 31, after more than 35 years service.

Born in Germany, Geissler spent two years with the German Air Force before graduating with an MBA from the University of Cologne. He joined P&G on June 1, 1979, as a brand assistant. During a career that has spanned more than 35 years in marketing and general management, Geissler has worked in Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, Turkey, Japan and Switzerland.

He has held positions of increasing responsibility in brand and general management and worked in several of categories, including household care, cosmetics and fragrance, baby care, tissue towels and hair care. He has led operations in Germany; Turkey/Caucasian and Central Asian Republics; Northeast Asia/Japan; and Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. He has helped integrate several acquired businesses during his career.

He was appointed vice chairman of global operations in 2007 and assumed the additional responsibility of special advisor to the chairman and CEO in 2014.

“Werner is the definition of a global executive and led dynamic growth in many regions. He is leaving a lasting and positive legacy on both the business and the organization,” said P&G’s chairman, President and CEO, A.G. Lafley.

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Probi, Pharmavite partner to expand distribution

BY Ryan Chavis

LUND, Sweden — Probi and Pharmavite entered into a long-term agreement for the distribution and marketing of Probi's line of probiotic products. Under the terms, Pharmavite will broaden the distribution and expand the range of the Nature Made brand. Pharmavite also will grow its probiotic business internationally.
 
“We are very excited to expand our partnership with Pharmavite. Pharmavite is a reputable and skilled partner whose quality focus is an excellent match with Probi’s clinically proven products," said Peter Nählstedt, CEO of Probi.
 
Probiotic products are an integral part of Pharmavite’s strategy for the coming year, the company added. “Probiotics is an area of focus for Pharmavite and we plan to invest in this category going forward. Probi plays a major role in this effort as we share the same commitment to research and development and the marketing of efficacious products," said Etienne Patout, CMO of Pharmavite.
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