Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Able Labs Generics No Longer Available

Able Labs Generics No Longer Available

If you or a family member in the United States were taking a generic drug from Able Labs it is no longer available because the company is out of business and there may or not be a generic equivalent to take its place. Able Labs provided a long list of generic medicines. You and your provider may have to purchase the usually higher priced non-generic form of the drug.

I’m just a consumer and not a pharmacist or medical doctor. There seems to be a generic gap overall in the United States and the rest of the world. Until a few months ago, Able Labs, located in New Jersey, provided a generic form of theophylline, for example, which is no longer available in the US and also there is no other generic form of it available in the US. Canada has a generic form of it available for their citizens from a different company.

I don’t understand why Able Labs went under and everything was recalled. None of its many generic products remain to be offered to the American public. I can’t imagine the losses at Able Labs. I can’t imagine the aggregate expense of consumers, insurance companies, government, and employers with these generics not being available anymore. Maybe our health is safer.

I’m for fair profits for the research drug companies, but competition is the American way. Monopolization should be discouraged especially after patents have expired. Generics should be encouraged to keep medications affordable for consumers, insurers, government, and employers.

My drug plan has a 50% copay and my senior citizen parents never had a drug plan.

The American consumer is now paying a major share of health insurance premiums, deductibles, and copays and is feeling the brunt of the cost of medicine. The American consumer is also providing the funds for government drug payments from Medicare(in the near future), Medicaid, Veterans Administration, various state programs like the New Jersey PAAD program, and other programs. Some employers do provide healthcare benefits for their employees and retirees. Many Americans are under insured or not insured at all for drugs. I don’t know why the government, health insurers, and employers don’t work out an equitable medicine purchase plan for all Americans.

What do you think? Have you asked your representatives for a national holiday or observance to celebrate the US reaching 300 million people in population on or about November 3, 2006? Do you think this is a good issue to bring up to your state and national elected officials, employers, and health insurance companies?