CAPA Applauds House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Bipartisan Support for Taking on Big Pharma

Thanks Committee members for highlighting the damaging impact of Big Pharma’s abuse of the U.S. patent system to maintain drug monopolies and prevent or delay generic alternative medications and life-saving treatments for patients

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 Committee on Oversight and Reform’s hearing on the impact of skyrocketing drug prices on American families. The following statements are attributable to Mathew Lane, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Patent Abuse.

“CAPA is grateful to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform for today’s hearing on the impact that rising prescription drug prices is having on American patients. Today’s hearing comes on the same day that AbbVie released their second quarter earnings showing their revenues from Humira increased by 7.7 percent, or nearly $3.8 billion. This increase was entirely enabled by AbbVie’s gaming of the patent system. Meanwhile, AbbVie’s international revenues from Humira have dropped by 35% due to international generic competition in countries where they were not able to improperly extend their patent monopolies.“

“As today’s hearing demonstrated, American patients are feeling the repercussions of Big Pharma’s greed with rising prescription drug costs without more affordable generic alternatives. This anti-generic gaming has real human costs. Big Pharma uses a myriad of underhanded tactics to manipulate the patent system and continue expanding their profits. This hearing is further evidence of the need to rein in Big Pharma’s rampant patent abuse.”

“We thank Chairman Cummings and Ranking Member Jordan for holding today’s hearing and continuing to shed a light on Big Pharma’s abuse of the American patent system. Our coalition stands ready to work with the committee to find bipartisan solutions that put American patients first, promote innovation and end Big Pharma’s rampant patent abuse.”  

Highlights from Today’s Hearing Below:

Representative Elijah Cummings, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform: “Drug companies use a variety of tactics to increase their profitability. They use loopholes in the patent system…so they can keep increasing their prices.”

Representative Jim Jordan, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform: “How did we get here? Laws and regulations that the government has put in place have led to the abuse of the patent system and the lengthy approval process at the FDA. These and other loopholes delay needed generic competition.”

Ashley Krege, former Humira patient: “After months of successful pain and symptom management on Humira, I was informed that the drug maker, AbbVie, had raised the price and my new monthly payment was going to be almost $1,100 a month. I simply could not afford it any longer. I had to make the difficult decision to ween myself off of the drug that had provided me months of relief. It was already expensive for me at $750 a month and I could not afford the nearly 40 percent price increase.”

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About Coalition Against Patent Abuse (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, Niskanen Center, SEIU and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.