Senate Hearings on Tillis/Coons legislation stacked with Big Pharma advocates AGAIN

As the Senate Judiciary Committee kicks off a third hearing today on the Tillis/Coons legislation, several Big Pharma advocates have once again made it onto the witness list. These Big Pharma companies have been abusing patent laws for years – keeping more affordable generic medications off the market and out of the hands of patients. Now they are back on the Hill today to advocate for this “poison pill” legislation to enable Big Pharma to game the U.S. Patent System even further by undoing almost every recent Supreme Court win aimed at reducing over patenting and exploitative uses of patent law.

See Big Pharma’s “Stacked” Witness List Below And Examples Of Their Patent Abuse To Keep Drug Prices High. Then Get The Facts On Tillis/Coons Legislation Here.

Novartis

Mr. Corey Salsberg
Vice President,
Global Head IP Affairs

Patent Abuse Examples:
Novartis “launched legal attacks on about two dozen generic-drug makers in a move to protect U.S. sales of its best-selling branded drug.” “Novartis is seeking court orders blocking any potential generic versions of Gilenya until the patent has expired, in December 2027, and to collect damages if copies are made before then.” (Christopher Yasiejko, “Novartis Sues to Block Generic Sales of Top Drug Gilenya for MS,’ Bloomberg, 7/19/18)

Novartis delayed a generic version of its blockbuster leukemia drug Gleevec from coming to market in the U.S. in the past. “Swiss drug maker Novartis AG has managed to push back generic competition in the U.S. to its blockbuster leukemia drug Gleevec by about seven months, a deal that some critics say will deprive the public of the benefits of lower drug prices.”

“Novartis declined to disclose the terms of the patent litigation settlement agreement it reached with generic drug maker Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. … Drug companies selling patented drugs often try to prevent cheaper generic competition to their products from entering the market by extending their exclusivity. In ‘pay-for-delay’ settlements, a branded drug company pays a generic company to drop patent litigation that could have cleared the way for earlier competition.” (Marta Falconi, “Novartis Manages to Push Back Competition to Leukemia Drug in the U.S.,” Wall Street Journal, 5/15/14)

 

Genentech
Ms. Laurie Hill
Vice President, Intellectual Property

Patent Abuse Examples:
Herceptin, a cancer drug sold by Roche / Genentech, had patents first filed in 1985 and has current patent applications pending that could extend patent exclusivity until 2033, a 48-year potential monopoly span. (“Overpatented, Overpriced: How Excessive Pharmaceutical Patenting is Extending Monopolies and Driving up Drug Prices,” I-MAK, 8/20/18)

Four of the top twelve drugs have already been on the market for 20 years and have pending patent applications seeking to extend patent life to 2033: (Herceptin, Genentech), 2030 (Rituxan, Biogen/Genentech). (“Overpatented, Overpriced: How Excessive Pharmaceutical Patenting is Extending Monopolies and Driving up Drug Prices,” I-MAK, 8/20/18)

 

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Mr. Gonzalo Merino
VP/Chief Intellectual Property Counsel

Patent Abuse Examples:
According to the I-MAK study, Regeneron, maker of macular degeneration drug Eylea, has blocked competition for 34 years. Of Regeneron’s 67 patent applications, 51 have been issued. The price has changed +6% since 2012. (“Overpatented, Overpriced: How Excessive Pharmaceutical Patenting is Extending Monopolies and Driving up Drug Prices,” I-MAK, 8/20/18)

 

Johnson & Johnson
Mr. Robert Deberadine
Chief Intellectual Property Counsel

Patent Abuse Examples:
Johnson & Johnson accused of using “sham” patent litigation to delay the availability of lower-cost generics. “Angry over the high price of a prostate cancer drug, Baltimore officials have filed a lawsuit accusing a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) unit of using “sham” patent litigation to delay the availability of lower-cost generics, forcing the city to spend millions of dollars unnecessarily.”

“The lawsuit alleges that Janssen Biotech and its partner, British Technology Group, undertook a “ruse” when seeking a patent for its Zytiga medicine by failing to disclose certain information to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. And the move made it possible for the drug maker to deflect generic rivals longer than it might have otherwise.” (Ed Silverman, “Insurer accuses J&J unit of using ‘sham’ patent litigation to extend monopoly on cancer drug,” Stat News, 5/21/19)

Johnson & Johnson “won a judge’s ruling that upheld the validity of a patent on the blood-thinning drug Xarelto and will keep Mylan NV from selling a generic, low-cost version until August 2024, when the patent expires.”

“Bayer and J&J’s Janssen unit are seeking to prevent the generic versions of Xarelto even longer, until a different patent expires in 2034. Mylan is challenging that patent, for the dosing regimen, at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.” (Susan Decker and Christopher Yasiejko, “Bayer, J&J Win Ruling That Upholds Patent for Xarelto Drug, Bloomberg, 7/13/18)