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66 Am. U. L. Rev. 247 (2016-2017)
Big Pharma Monopoly: Why Consumers Keep Landing on Park Place and How the Game Is Rigged

handle is hein.journals/aulr66 and id is 255 raw text is: 










              BIG PHARMA MONOPOLY:
       WHY CONSUMERS KEEP LANDING
                 ON PARK PLACE AND
             HOW THE GAME IS RIGGED


                             MARK  S. LEV'


   Now,  more  than ever before, pharmacologists are contributing medical
advances to confront ravaging disease. They are developing drugs to mitigate
the effects of Alzheimer's, HIV, multiple sclerosis, and various forms of cancer.
To  capitalize on the opportunity, brand-name  pharmaceutical firms  are
patenting these drugs, consequently guarding formulas and, with it, profits.
Patents grant brand-name firms market  exclusivity, which essentially allows
them to set their own prices.
   Even  though brand-name  firms  are investing some of their capital to
cultivate new drugs, they also are enjoying gigantic revenue streams, absurd
profit margins, and seemingly unfettered control of their respective markets.
Consequently, sick patients are unable to afford their medication; high prices
are  bankrupting  consumers  in the  absence of reasonably-priced generic
alternatives. Despite the fact that generic drugs contain identical ingredients,
cure the same symptoms, and  cost 70%  less, brand-name drugs persistently
dominate their generic counterparts.
   Indeed, brand-name firms are improperly preventing generic market entry.
 Without generic competition, no  watchdog  exists to curb big pharma's
 prohibitive prices. Despite the Supreme Court's Jleeting fix in FTC v. Actavis,
 which condemned  reverse payment  settlements that precluded competition,



    *  Note & Comment   Editor, American University Law Review, Volume 66; J.D.
Candidate, May 2017, American University Washington College of Law, B.A. Psychology,
James Madison University. I would like to offer a profound thank you to my family,
friends, professors, and colleagues, who all continue to inspire and encourage me every
day. I also would like to extend a special thanks to the ever-hard-working staff of the
American University Law Review for their efforts throughout the publication process.


247

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