[Ip-health] Why Access to Essential Medicines in the U.S. is Diminishing

Syed Ahmad drugsafetyconsultant at gmail.com
Thu May 19 02:18:49 PDT 2016

Dear All,

A perspective piece 'Essential Medicines in the United States — Why Access
Is Diminishing'
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1601559#.Vz0rgMlsHK4.twitter in
this week’s *New England Journal of Medicine *by researchers from University
of Minnesota, USA, discusses the business model used by the pharma
companies "to acquire drugs in niche markets where there are few or no
therapeutic alternatives in order to maximize their profits.... Some of
these medicines are considered essential by the WHO".

The authors "identified 17 antiinfective medications on the WHO list that
are produced by three or fewer manufacturers and have limited or no
therapeutic equivalents. Seven of these treat tuberculosis; others are
first-line treatments for leprosy, strongyloidiasis, malaria, or Chagas’
disease.”  The authors “speculate" that these medicines may experience
dramatic price increase in the future”. One solution proposed by the
authors is that "the FDA could consider eliminating user fees in order to
encourage competition in drug markets threatened by limited sales and small
profit margins.”

Thought this may be of interest to list members.

Best wishes,


Syed Rizwanuddin Ahmad, MD, MPH, FISPE, FCP
Consultant with a Special Interest to Strengthen
 National Medicines Regulatory Authorities
Ex-Consultant/Safety Reviewer, U.S. FDA (1998-2013)
Associate Professor (adjunct), Rutgers School of Public Health, NJ, USA
Assistant Professor (adjunct), Georgetown University School of Medicine,
Washington, DC, USA

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