THE REFILL: Latest Dosage of Rx Patent Abuse


  • Recently, CAPA hosted an online panel on the importance of balancing the needs of innovation, access, and affordability when it comes to drug policy.  The panel entitled, “Drug Pricing Debate: Why Drug Innovation, Access & Affordability Matter More Than Ever During COVID-19” welcomed discussion with leading experts in the field, including Dr. Melissa Wasserman, professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law; Arti Rai, Elvin R. Latty professor of Law and co-director of the Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy; and Keith Robinson, co-director of the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation and Associate Professor of Law at the Southern Methodist University.  To watch the full panel, click here.
    • “This was an important and robust discussion about a process with a proven track record of eliminating bad patents. The inter partes review process is a critical part of eliminating drug patent thickets and will be instrumental as we look for ways to address rising drug costs, especially as millions of Americans face financial hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic and our national debt continues to increase. CAPA looks forward to our continued work on this subject so we can find solutions that put American patients first,” stated Matthew Lane, executive director of the Coalition Against Patent Abuse.


US Senate Committee On Finance: Grassley, Mcsally Op-Ed: Coronavirus Pandemic Has Accelerated Need To Cut Drug Prices
Sens. Chuck Grassley & Martha McSally

  • Fixing flaws in our nation’s drug pricing system is a matter of life and death for people who can’t afford insulin or chemotherapy infusions. The mandate to lower drug costs is more important than ever. COVID-19 arguably lends even more urgency to our efforts. The coronavirus pandemic has created a historic public health emergency. As scientists and researchers around the world work around-the-clock to discover a vaccine to beat the virus, the clock is ticking for policymakers to fix what’s broken in America’s drug pricing system.

Inside Health Policy: Vaccine Makers Plan To Profit Off COVID-19
Ariel Cohen

  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) asked whether vaccine contracts include affordability agreements with the federal government. AstraZeneca Executive Vice President Mene Pangalos said his company’s contract calls for delivering 300 million doses to the federal government at-cost. However, Moderna President Stephen Hoge said his company has a research and development agreement with HHS but no affordability agreement. Merck Executive Vice President Julie Gerberding and Janssen’s Macaya Douguih said their companies have research and development contracts but no procurement contracts. DeGette accused Pfizer of not participating in Warp Speed so it could price gouge. Pfizer Chief Business Officer John Young said his company declined government funding so it could develop a vaccine unencumbered, and he pledged to price it “consistent with the urgent global health emergency that we’re facing.” “And secondly we also believe critically the vaccine should be free to the public. A vaccine is meaningless if people are unable to afford it,” Young said.

The Week: Could The Coronavirus Lead To A Reassessment Of Vaccine Patent Laws?
Tim O’Donnell

  • Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of India’s Serum Institute, is working to mass-produce a low-cost coronavirus vaccine for the entire world, but the pharmaceutical industry and intellectual property laws remain hurdles, Politico reports. Poonawalla is hoping the urgency of the pandemic leads to a reassessment of patent laws, which he says limit access to immunizations in developing countries while driving up prices in wealthier ones. “If you don’t allow, for example, an Indian producer to sell in the U.S. because of some stupid rules and regulations, even though the product is identical to the U.S. product, you’re going to have a supply situation,” he told Politico. “And guess what. When you’ve got a low supply and high demand, what happens to the price? It skyrockets.”

Law360: Humira Buyers Take AbbVie Antitrust Challenge To 7th Circ.
No Author Found

  • The buyers offered no details of the appeal other than informing U.S. District Judge Manish Shah in a one-sentence notice on Tuesday about their bid to undo his ruling issued last month. The Humira purchasers launched their novel claims in May 2019, alleging AbbVie’s colossal “patent thicket” for its $20-billion-per-year immunosuppressant Humira has empowered it to block less-expensive biosimilars in violation of numerous antitrust laws. The claims included first-of-their-kind accusations that a pharmaceutical company engaged in a “pay for delay” scheme that has improperly divvied up the markets and will keep Humira generics out of the market for years to come.