Video Explainer: Why can’t I get a generic version of my drug?

Learn from advocates how brand-name drug companies block generic drugs from coming to pharmacy shelves.

Talk to anyone you know and they likely have a story about the cost of their prescription drugs. Most of us know the value of generic drugs – medicine that is equivalent to the brand-name drug, but much less expensive.

When drug companies misuse the patent system to amass dozens and dozens of patents and use other tricks to keep competitors off the market, we all pay more. 

A video explainer of how generic drugs are blocked and how it hurts those who need prescription medicine.


Patricia Kelmar

Senior Director, Health Care Campaigns, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, associate state director at AARP New Jersey and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She was appointed to the Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee in 2022 and works with patient advocates across the U.S. Patricia enjoys walking along the Potomac River and sharing her love of books with friends and family around the world.