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The Editors

Make Drugs Cheaper by Encouraging Generics

The FDA is pushing in that direction. Congress could do much more.

Cheaper without a brand name.

Cheaper without a brand name.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says he’s not looking to shame brand-name drug companies into providing generic drugmakers with the samples they need to create copies. It’s hard to see what else he has in mind by publishing a list of companies that generics makers say aren’t playing ball.

If pushing the big pharmaceutical companies to allow more competition from generics is indeed his goal, it’s a good one. Getting generic medicines to market faster could go a long way toward lowering exorbitant drug prices in the U.S. But whether Gottlieb’s effort to shine daylight on the companies’ “shenanigans,” as he puts it, will work is an open question.