Colchicine has been the gold standard drug for the treatment of acute gout flare ups for generations. It is used additionally when physicians institute uric acid lowering therapy with allopurinol to prevent an acute gouty attack that can accompany any change of our uric acid level. It has additional uses in the treatment of the very rare Mediterranean fever.
The drug was always generic and exceedingly inexpensive until 2010 when the FDA granted Takeda Pharmaceuticals copyright exclusivity production it put its version known as Colcrys through the rigorous testing and trials the FDA demands. Before Takeda engaged in the testing and evaluation of Colcrys, all of our colchicine in the USA was produced overseas in small generic factories that had no oversight or inspections by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a reward for going through the oversight process to insure that our colchicine was safe and pure, Takeda Pharmaceuticals received an exclusive distribution right while the other foreign products were removed from the market. The cost of colchicine produced by Takaeda USA soared to $6-$10 per pill. This made a month’s supply too expensive for many users.
Last month, under encouragement from the FDA and consumer groups, Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA gave permission to Prasco Laboratories to distribute Colcrys as a generic product at a much lower cost. It will be sold under the Prasco name. As of 03/19/2015 it has not yet arrived in the South Palm Beach County Florida market but should be there shortly.
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