THE REFILL: Latest Dosage of Rx Patent Abuse
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: CAPA Executive Director Quoted In NYT Editorial Calling Out Patent Abuse & Highlighting Reforms to U.S. Patent System
The New York Times recently published an editorial titled, “Save America’s Patent System” that focuses on measures lawmakers and regulators should take to reform the U.S. patent system, with contribution from CAPA Executive Director Matthew Lane:
- “The best way to ensure that patents spur innovation instead of thwarting it is to set a high standard for what deserves patent protection in the first place and then to honor it. In the United States, that standard already exists: To secure a patent, an invention must be truly novel and nonobvious, it must be described in enough detail for a reasonably qualified person to build and use it, and it must actually work. The problem is these rules are poorly enforced. The pharmaceutical industry is a good example. Nearly 80 percent of the drugs associated with new patents between 2005 and 2015 were not new.”
- “The Patent Trial and Appeal Board, a panel of judges that reviews and decides on patent challenges without lengthy court battles, was meant to solve at least some of these problems. But it has been beset by criticism and legal challenges since its creation in 2012. It has also been undermined by Trump-era policies that allow the patent office to deny legitimate patent challenges for purely bureaucratic reasons. During the Trump administration, critics say, such discretionary denials allowed scores of dubious patents to stand.”
- “Ms. Vidal should make collaboration with regulatory agencies the rule. She should also work with the Federal Trade Commission, an agency whose job it is to ferret out exactly the kind of anticompetitive practices that the patent office is vulnerable to.”
- The Evidence Exists: Discover the Truth Behind Out-of-Control Drug Prices
While many lawmakers argue who or which entity is to blame for sky-high prescription drug prices, there is mounting evidence that patent abuse by pharmaceutical manufacturers is one of, if not the largest cause of the crisis. Lawmakers must look at the evidence to understand this reality and take decisive action to limit drug makers’ ability to abuse the patent system to boost their bottom lines.
- A recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services examined the pharmaceutical marketplace and found that the U.S. patent system greatly impacts prescription drug pricing and recommended steps to “curb brand drug manufacturers’ abuse of patents and exclusivities to avoid competition.”
Patent abuse by many major pharmaceutical companies is the true underlying cause of unaffordable prescription drugs, and necessary reforms like strengthening tools within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to weed out bad patents would deliver swift relief for patients and taxpayers nationwide.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BE READING:
The American Prospect: Where’s The Congressional Champion On Pharma Patent Abuses?
- The editorialists wrote that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has “long since devolved into a backwater office that large corporations game, politicians ignore and average citizens are wholly excluded from. As a result, not only is legal trickery rewarded and the public’s interest overlooked, but also innovation—the very thing that patents were meant to foster—is undermined.”
- There has been a push over the last few months by some pro-patent academics and (of course) the pharmaceutical industry to insist that high drug prices and high healthcare costs have nothing whatsoever to do with our broken patent system that grants drug and device makers a full on monopoly.
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