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Abstract

In 1984, Congress passed the Hatch-Waxman Act, which catalyzed the creation of the modem generic drug industry. Generic drugs today account for eighty-four percent of all prescriptions dispensed, but less than twenty percent of drug costs. Despite this success, numerous problems in the generic drug market have emerged. Some involve the deliberate manipulation of the Hatch-Waxman system, while others have arisen more unexpectedly, such as the Supreme Court's 2011 decision in Pliva v. Mensing that could undermine consumer confidence in generic drugs. We discuss these emerging challenges and propose updates to the Hatch-Waxman Act to continue support for the timely emergence of safe generic drugs.

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