One of the most shocking points that I found in Marcia Angell's book, The Truth About the Drug Companies, is how companies are creating "me-too" drugs. These drugs are essentially identical to other drugs already existing and are marketed to seem like they are lowering prices by offering alternatives and giving patients more options for viable drugs. However, often the prices of these drugs are identical to their original drug. Additionally, since the active ingredients in the me-too drug are the same, with only the inactive ingredients differing, it is unlikely that a patient will find a significant change in reaction from one drug to the other. Angell notes that, "Seventy-seven percent of the pharmaceutical industry's output consisted of leftovers." This is a staggering percentage because this means that more effort is being put into reproducing existing drugs in new packagers rather than the creation of new, more inventive drugs.
In terms of how to fix the issue of the over-saturation of me-too drugs in the market, it is first important that patients learn about the truth and myths shrouding the generic brand drugs that they buy. While it is not to say that one generic is better than another, at least if the public knew about the attention that is focused on rehashing old drugs rather than coming up with new solutions, it would be able to put pressure on congress to create reforms in legislation. The FDA needs to be strengthened so that it can create checks on the the pharmaceutical industry, and it also needs to create a more stringent regulations on the approval of similar drugs before entering the market. The drug companies need pressure to create and fund more innovative solutions to new problems, instead of coasting and producing similar products for their own monetary benefit.