Gout sufferers can thank the FDA for the 10,000% increase in the price of an old treatment. An old drug used to treat gout (colchicines) used to cost mere pennies per tablet but now a newly approved version is $5 per pill.
As part of a push to expand its control over the sale of non-approved drugs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently gave the maker of an old gout drug (colchicines) exclusive rights to market it for three years. The period of exclusivity was in return for commissioning several studies showing this drug (that has been used for decades) was in fact, safe and effective.
Many drugs already in existence when the FDA gained control over approval for prescription drugs were allowed to continue to be sold. Probably the best example of this is the common aspirin. The FDA has recently begun trying to rein in some of the old drugs that predate the FDA approval process. Last month several makers of nitroglycerin tablets for chest pain were essentially told their products were not approved by the FDA and could not be sold.