New York Times, May 17, 2018
Sheila Kaplan

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Pharmaceutical companies that spend billions of dollars to develop new drugs do not want competitors to profit from inexpensive generic copies of blockbuster medicines. To avoid rivals, 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 F.D.A. 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.

Dr. Gottlieb calls it transparency, but this approach is better known among ethicists as naming and shaming. [...]

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