Colchine has been used to treat gout for decades. Gout is a relatively common painful kind of arthritis. Colchicine has been around so long that nobody had ever bothered to patent it. It was a few pennies a pill and very effective. In steps URL Pharmaceuticals. They realized it didn’t have a patent so they quickly did some studies to determine its effectiveness. Of course the studies showed that it was safe and effective. They took their studies to the FDA who quickly approved “their” colchicine. URL then had exclusive rights to sell colchicine as a branded drug at over $5 a pill. And then they successfully sued the companies who had been making colchicine as a generic for years. They’ve won the cases. And now people who depended on colchicine for their daily lives must pay $5 a pill instead of 5 cents.

Now a few members of Congress want answers.

Too late. What URL Pharmaceuticals did was just business right? That’s the American medical industry…

illustration by James Gillray

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