CAPA Applauds House Committee on Energy and Commerce For Shining Light on Big Pharma’s Patent Abuse

Commends Committee members for exposing Big Pharma’s efforts to abuse the U.S. patent system & deny patient access to more affordable generic medications and life-saving treatments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coalition Against Patent Abuse, a diverse coalition of healthcare providers, consumer groups, patient advocacy organizations, free-market advocates and others released the following statement today in response to the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce’s hearing on how big pharmaceutical companies game the U.S. patent system to expand their profit margins at the expense of American patients. 

Big Pharma routinely uses a variety of cynical tactics to continue its anti-competitive behavior and safeguard its skyrocketing profits. Big drug companies like AbbvieIndivior and Forest Laboratories all routinely exploit the patent system to prevent market competition to their overpriced drugs. Abbvie, for example, has filed 247 patent applications on their drug Humira, creating a patent thicket and granting them a government-approved monopoly.

As Axios reported this morning, the end result of these underhanded tactics is that “drug companies collected almost half of all health care profits despite generating less than 20% of industry revenue.”

Jeff Francer, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the Association for Accessible Medicines, echoed these points in his testimony to Congress today: 

  • “Many brand-name drug companies are accumulating more and more non-innovative patents that are designed to increase litigation and development costs for potential generic and biosimilar competitors. Patients and taxpayers ultimately pay the price for these tactics—without effective generic and biosimilar competition, patients will continue to pay bloated monopoly pricing. Addressing patent abuse must be a top priority for Congress to effectively reduce prescription drug prices.”

The following statement is attributable to Mathew Lane, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Patent Abuse.

  • “CAPA appreciates the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s efforts to expose Big Pharma’s cynical tactics for what they are — abuse of the patent system and exploitation of American patients. With the cost of prescription drugs rising across the country, Congress must take action that reins in Big Pharma, encourages innovation and puts patients first. Any legislation that seeks to address the drug pricing crisis must include provisions that end Big Pharma’s rampant abuse of the patent system.” 

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About CAPA
The Coalition Against Patent Abuse are healthcare providers, consumer groups, patient advocacy organizations, free market advocates, employers, and others fighting abuses of the patent system that can extend government-granted monopolies that illegitimately keep drug prices high for years, or even decades. Our members include the following groups and organizations: America’s Health Insurance Plans, Association for Accessible Medicines, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, Citizen Outreach, Consumer Action, Innovation Defense Fund, Institute for Liberty, Kaiser Permanente, Knowledge Ecology International, Lincoln Network, R Street Institute, Society for Patient Centered Orthopedics, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.