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Soaring Price of Colchicine Questioned by CBS News

October 12, 2011 by Alex.

CBS News desktop
CBS News desktop
CBS News recently broadcast a segment on the enormous jump in the price of the prescription drug colchicine (now only available as name brand Colcrys in the US). The news item, titled FDA Approval of Ancient Remedy Sends Price Soaring, follows the story of a young man who has to take the anti-inflammatory colchicine for an inflammatory heart condition. Sixty generic colchicine tablets used to cost around $35. Now sixty tablets of name brand Colcrys cost $245.

Colchicine is best known as an effective gout medication (a very painful form of arthritis), and hundreds of thousands of gout patients and their health care providers are up in arms at the huge hike. "Colchicine has been used to treat gout and other inflammatory conditions for thousands of years. How could one company gain a monopoly?" CBS asks in their story.

The answer is the FDA's Unapproved Drugs Initiative. Concerned about the safety and effectiveness of commonly used drugs that pre-date the stringent current approval process, the FDA launched a program to have around 1000 older drugs like colchicine either approved, or removed from the market.

One pharmaceutical company, URL Pharma, sought FDA approval for colchicine, and in return for conducting clinical studies, was awarded exclusive rights to market colchicine for gout for three years. They then hiked the price of the gout drug a whopping 5000 percent.

Adding to American consumers' ire, low priced generic colchicine remains available just across the border in Canada. To view the CBS coverage of the soaring price of colchicine online, >Click Here.<

Filed under: Colchicine Price.

Tags: prescription drug colchicine, name brand Colcrys, anti-inflammatory colchicine, generic colchicine, colchicine tablets, gout medication, treat gout, price of colchicine, colchicine for gout, gout drug.

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