Why Are Generic Prescription Drugs So Inexpensive?

The answer lies in the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) treaties between nations protect patents and trademarks. India is one of few nations that selected a patenting scheme based upon protection of the manufacturing process (Process Patents) rather than using the more common scheme of protecting the actual product (Product Patents).

Indian Patent law therefore allows scientists to legally manufacture a prescription drug that has been patented. In other words, a drug that is already under patent law may be duplicated as long as a different process is used to create the same drug (or active ingredient) than the process used in the original patent. As a result, Indian pharmaceutical chemists use reverse engineering to legally create drugs. These prescription drugs, that are still patent protected in some areas, are sold worldwide.

As a result, these patented drugs can be marketed at prices that reflect their real manufacturing costs rather than a monopoly price that has been determined by competition, high costs of research and development, advertising, and promotions to doctors and the U.S. public. Finally, because India has very strict price controls on the retail selling prices of drugs, Indian pharmacies are inhibited from being able to raise their prices higher than these limits. The result is that India has become the largest producer of generic drugs in the world; drugs which have continuously met high health and medical standards.

At one website, GlobalPharmacymMeds.com, you can order generic drugs that are manufactured in India, whose enormous pharmaceutical industry is largely owned and operated by U.S. drug companies. All of their medications are factory machine sealed in blister packaging and untouched by human hands. In fact, their agreement with their fulfillers requires that all of the drugs offered are made in production plants that are U.S. FDA inspected and approved.

These drugs, legally made and patented in India, come without huge development and advertising costs and are legal for sale worldwide at a fraction of the cost of the name brand they duplicate. For this reason, their prices for generic drugs are low. Of course, U.S. companies have spent billions in advertising to convince you that brand and generic drugs are not the same in terms of mechanism of action, although their use is encouraged by AARP.