Would Speeding Drug Approvals Knock Down High Prices?

A novel solution to address the soaring prices of generic drugs would approve competitors about seven times faster than normal, but some say that may not be enough to deal with the issue.

During the first Senate hearing on high drug prices last week, senators from both parties lauded a solution that would speed approval of certain generic drugs. The idea is to create more competition to combat companies that buy up older generic drugs and then raise the price.

The pathway would allow the Food and Drug Administration to approve a generic drug in about six months, much faster than the drug industry’s current estimate of 48 months.

Not all generic drugs could use the pathway. The agency would allow only drugs that compete directly with pharmaceuticals whose prices have skyrocketed.