The pharmaceutical industry is basically private enterprise. You cannot compel a company to continue making a drug after their patent protection runs out. The only thing you could do is entice them by extending their patent - but hen no generic.
I guess we could pass a law that a company cannot discontinue a drug until a generic comes on market, but then we would have big-bad-government interfering in the private marketplace.
BUT GUESS WHAT? THEY AREN'T. - Some folks here are just panic mongering fools that cant use google to find basic info.
The company that makes Asacol is made by Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. The new drug Delzicol is made by Warner Chilcott (US), LLC.
So as one company predictably decides to discontinue a drug when their patent expires, you see another company trying to help launch its new product by saying "aw, no Asacol. DOn't worry. We are almost the same, only better."
So all this talk of "this is bullcrap" and "TEHY" are doing this ... e.g., THEY are discontinuing Asacol, and THEY are pointing to a new drug" - well I think you shoudl disregard most of the stuff that follows in sentences that begin with vague unspecific THEYs.
I might favor a law that prohibited a company's marketing arm from pointing to their new patent drug when ending production on an old one. But that is not happening here.
You could make a law that prohibited new name-brand drugs tryingto capitalize on unease when a popular drug goes generic - but that limits free speech.
Anyway, it make sense that a generic manufacturer will also try to capture the Asacol market. It also makes sense that there may be some disruption in supply while the original manufacturer exits and one or more generic manufactures enter.
There are almost no studies comparing one form of melsalamine to another. Almost every one came to market compared to a placebo, or to some old generic type. I can recall a study that compared the MMX matrix of Lialda to the enteric coating of some other brand. Usually they just demonstrate that concentrations are higher where they say the release is designed to hit.
We could make a law that after phase-III trials, new phase-IV trials have to show it is significantly better than the drugs already on the market, but that seems like it would only make FDA approval even longer.
While there are accounts of one form/pill/brand working better for some, I think for may people alternate forms might work as well or better. I have started to notice some occasional intact Lialda in poop, so I'm considering lowering the Lialda dose and adding in some form of 5-asa that released differently - jut to cover my bases/colon.