CAPA Press Release



Consumer groups, patients, free market advocacy organizations and health care industry associations band together to advocate for policies to end overextended brand drug monopolies

Washington, DC (January 16, 2019) Healthcare providers, free market advocates, consumer groups, patient advocacy organizations, employers, and others joined today in a new effort to lower drug prices by exposing how drug companies abuse our nation’s patent system to maintain their monopolies, kill competition, and keep lower cost generic drugs from patients. The Coalition Against Patent Abuse (CAPA) advocates for policies to stop the tactics drug companies use to extend their original government-granted monopolies by years and even decades beyond what Congress intended.

The Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Frank Pallone (D-NJ), joined the coalition organizers at an event in the United States Capitol today to launch the group. A livestream of the event is available for viewing starting at 12:00pm noon Eastern on the CAPA Twitter account

“The abuse of our nation’s patent system by pharmaceutical companies is keeping drug prices high,” said Beau Phillips, executive director of CAPA. “A recent study found 75% of all pharmaceutical patents between 2005 and 2015 were issued on old, previously patented medicines, not new drugs. The patent system is supposed to reward true innovation, not the creativity of drug companies’ legal departments.”

“Patients may not know the ins and outs of patent law, but they know they pay less for generics” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs, who is speaking at the launch. “We strongly support patent reform to get more generics and biosimilars to market to lower the prices of prescription drugs. It will help millions of Americans afford their prescriptions.”

CAPA membership includes the Association for Accessible Medicines, AHIP, 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. PIRG. Its numbers are growing.

“While there are many suggestions about how to lower drug prices, few realize that the root of the problem is brand drug companies abusing and manipulating our nation’s complex patent system,” Phillips said. “To truly lower drug prices, drug companies must be held to their original patent term.”

Congress created tools like the inter partes review (IPR) as a bipartisan solution to allow the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to efficiently eliminate patents sought by drug companies for protectionism, not innovation. Although IPR is one of the few tools generic drug makers have available to help deal with larger drug maker’s abuse of the patent system and should be strengthened to confront the problem of high drug prices, it is currently under attack by big pharma and others with a financial interest in preserving low quality patents.

Follow CAPA on Twitter @capanow1. Contact Beau Phillips for more information at [email protected] or 202-368-9033.

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