From a NY Times article about companies that are jacking up the prices of generic drugs:
Deoxycycline is a very old drug, though it’s still effective against many infections (including anthrax). We would be far better off using deoxycycline when we can instead of a newer antibiotic.
What’s ridiculous about the price increase is there’s no reason for it. There’s no need to run additional approval tests–we’ve been using it for decades. It’s still used today, so it’s not like companies have to retrofit or recreate manufacturing capacity. Moreover, there’s already a guaranteed market for deoxycycline since it’s part of the CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile (and these drugs are regularly replaced). There is no reason whatsoever to justify a ninety-fold price increase.
This is just grasping avarice. If deoxycycline manufacturers don’t lower their prices, use them as an object lesson and figure out a way to nationalize their facilities. The last thing we want to do is encourage the use of newer antibiotics because price-gouging has made older antibiotics too expensive.
Update: Maybe not for all drugs, but there’s a point where greed leads to this sentiment by Susie Madrak.