PBS NewsHour explores concerns that settlements on patents for drugs sometimes delay the generic version getting to consumers.
PBS NewsHour: Are Generic Drugs Being Delayed To Market?
Are generic drugs being delayed to market by so-called "pay for delay" deals between drug companies? The deals happen after generic drug companies challenge the patents on brand-name drugs. The settlements include a date that the generic drug can enter the market, and in some cases, a payment from brand company to the generic company (Thompson, 6/28).
Also, some pharmacies are looking at ways to help consumers who have multiple prescriptions.
USA Today: Companies Help Patients Manage Multiple Medications
Customers with multiple prescriptions end up with numerous refill dates, resulting in many trips to drug stores to pick up medications. The remedy is pharmacy synchronization, which allows pharmacists like Irons to adjust refill dates so customers can pick up all their prescriptions on the same day. To adjust refill dates, pharmacists need to partially fill some prescriptions — and that takes cooperation from insurance companies. Republican state Sen. Kevin Mullin proposed legislation last winter that would have required insurance companies to cover partial refills of medications for chronic conditions when pharmacists are synchronizing prescriptions (Remsen, 6/28).