A Prescription for Scandal

Payoffs and faked lab results taint the generic-drug industry

For many consumers, generic drugs have been a welcome remedy for sticker shock at the pharmacy counter. Designed to work as effectively as their brand- name counterparts, generics often sell for half the price. Since 1984, when Congress sought to make generics more readily available by speeding up the Government-approval process, competition has skyrocketed -- and so has the opportunity for abuse. Now a yearlong investigation by the Justice Department and the Food and Drug Administration is uncovering evidence that some makers of generic pharmaceuticals falsified laboratory test results and paid off FDA chemists to gain quick Government approval for their...

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