GOVERNMENT: Dissent on Wonder Drugs

One of the incredible-growth stories of U.S. industry belongs to the manufacturers of antibiotics. Last year Americans paid an estimated $700 million for antibiotics, all of them unknown to the public 15 years ago, but now accountable for more than half of all prescription sales. To the Federal Trade Commission, this inspiring success story is flawed.

Last week, climaxing a two-year investigation of the wonder-drug industry, the FTC accused six major companies of rigging the price on tetracycline, the biggest and most popular of the so-called "broad spectrum drugs," i.e., useful against...

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