White House advisers propose fast-tracking reviews of brand-name drugs to lower costs: 6 things to know

White House advisers proposed the idea to expedite the review process for certain brand-name medications submitted to the FDA for approval as a way to lower drug prices, reports STAT.

Here are six things to know.

 1. The FDA already prioritizes the review of generic versions of brand-name drugs to increase competition. Generics, since they have the same active ingredient and aim to provide the same relief as a brand-name drug, can be interchanged and quickly reviewed because they have a similar effect on the body as the brand-name drug.

2. White House advisers proposed an idea to expand this expedited review policy to brand-name drugs that treat similar diseases but cannot be interchanged like generics.

3. The idea to fast-track reviews of certain brand-name drugs was outlined in a report from the Council of Economic Advisers.

4. The White House council report explained that creating this expedited review process for brand-name drugs would "serve as a new pro-competition pathway that would enhance therapeutic price-competition by providing expedited entry into monopoly markets."

5. The CEA report outlined research that shows drug prices fall when there are more generics. However, the report did not cite any research indicating the relationship between the number of drugs that treat a certain disease in the market and the price of those drugs.

6. STAT explained the mere presence of other drugs to treat the same disease doesn't necessarily equate to lower prices.

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