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The Editors

The FDA's War on (Expensive) Drugs

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has it right: The way to make prescription drugs more affordable is to boost competition from generics.
A champion of generic drugs.

A champion of generic drugs.

Photographer: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

One of the FDA’s main jobs is to ensure that the drugs Americans take are safe and effective. Whether they’re affordable has always been someone else’s problem.

Enter Scott Gottlieb, the new commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who wants to reduce drug prices significantly. It’s a worthy cause, and his strategy -- to enable greater competition from generic drugs -- makes sense. But the FDA can’t do it by itself.