THE REFILL: Latest Dosage of Rx Patent Abuse

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) held a roundtable with Texas health professionals to discuss ways to lower prescription drug prices. Senator Cornyn highlighted the bipartisan legislation he introduced alongside Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act, which would rein in Big Pharma’s use of patent thickets and promote more affordable generic alternatives for American patients.

“What I do believe is, we need more competition in health care because as we’ve seen with generic drugs, that will drive down the prices. You can do it in a couple of ways, either the government can set the price, or you can have competition which will lead people to bring down the price and improve quality of service.” — United States Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

  • This week, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) announced his support for the REMEDY Act and the bipartisan Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act. CAPA is pleased to see Senator Peters taking the issue of patent abuse seriously and looks forward to working with the Senator to end Big Pharma’s abuse of the patent system and help make prescription drugs more affordable.

“Nobody should need to choose between paying to put food on the table for their families or life-saving medication. Unfortunately, too many Michigan families are forced to make those choices every day – and that needs to change. I’m pleased to support bipartisan efforts that would help lower costs for Michiganders by holding drug companies accountable and preventing them from manipulating the market in their favor.” – United States Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) 

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE READING:

Wall Street Journal: How The Drug Lobby Lost Its Mojo In Washington
Brody Mullins & Stephanie Armour

  • The drug industry doesn’t pack the lobbying punch it once did, and one sign is something rare in the capital today—a dose of bipartisanship. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) joined Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) to write a bill last July to regulate prescription-drug prices, an idea the industry has bottled up since the 1960s. Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) sponsored a bill in May to block drug companies from using patent laws to delay lower-priced drugs. President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) each has criticized the drug lobby and championed proposals to lower costs, though they disagree on approaches.

Pharmacy Times: Presidential Candidates All Want To Lower Drug Prices, Expand Health Care Access, But Disagree How To Do It
Aislinn Antrim 

  • Politicians on both sides of the aisle have long been debating key issues in modern health care, including rising drug prices, access to care, and national addiction rates. Despite some agreement on which issues are most pressing, arguments persist in how to address them heading into the 2020 presidential election. President Donald Trump: President Trump’s goals during his tenure have included loosening insurance regulations, lowering drug prices, and expanding tax-free health savings accounts.1 Although the administration has yet to present an overarching health care plan to compete with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), experts have pointed to those goals as a hint of what the Trump alternative plan could include.

STAT News: An FDA Program To Ensure Decades-Old Drugs Finally Get Approved Is Costing Billions In Price Hikes
Ed Silverman

  • Back in 2006, the FDA launched an effort to force drug companies to win regulatory approval for medicines already on the market that actually were never approved. Numerous treatments had been available for years on a grandfathered basis because they predated stricter requirements. But while the FDA program, called the Unapproved Drugs Initiative, succeeded in ensuring many older medicines are now safe and effective, it has come at a cost. Some companies decided to stop selling their drugs, leaving others with a monopoly that allowed them to charge sky-high prices.

STAT News: Consumer Groups And Unions Try Again To Block The Abbvie And Allergan Merger
Ed Silverman

  • A coalition of consumer groups and unions hopes to convince the Federal Trade Commission to alter the terms of AbbVie’s (ABBV) proposed $63 billion acquisition of Allergan (AGN) by arguing the deal — as currently conceived — would thwart competition and unfairly maintain higher drug prices for consumers. In a letter to the agency Tuesday, the coalition contends that allowing Allergan to divest an experimental medicine for treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to AstraZeneca (AZN) would fail to ensure the market for such medicines would be fully competitive.

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