FDA names and shames drugmakers to encourage generic competition

Pharmaceutical companies that spend billions to develop drugs do not want competitors to profit from inexpensive generic copies of blockbuster medicines. So they fight for patent extensions, seek new uses for old products and, sometimes, prevent generic drug companies from obtaining samples.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, calls this “gaming the system,” and has vowed to stop it as part of the government’s campaign to lower drug prices.

On Thursday, the FDA took a new tack and began posting a list of makers of brand-name drugs that have been the target of complaints to persuade them to “end the shenanigans,” in the commissioner’s words.