Where are all the gener­ic in­halers for asth­ma and COPD? Re­searchers call for patent and FDA re­forms

Take a look at the 53 in­halers ap­proved by the FDA to treat asth­ma and COPD from 1986 to 2020, and you will find gener­ic ver­sions for just four of those brand-name prod­ucts, and a widen­ing gap where man­u­fac­tur­ers may be hes­i­tant to jump in, re­searchers from George­town, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary, Uni­ver­si­ty of West Vir­ginia and Har­vard wrote in a Health Af­fairs ar­ti­cle pub­lished yes­ter­day.

That dearth of com­pe­ti­tion has meant decades of mo­nop­o­lies for block­buster in­halers dis­pens­ing com­mon asth­ma, COPD and oth­er treat­ments like al­buterol, budes­onide for­moterol, and flu­ti­ca­s­one-sal­me­terol. But there has been a slight uptick in progress re­cent­ly as they note:

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