Coalition Against Patent Abuse Urges Next Administration & Congress To Prioritize Patent Reform, Put American Patients First

Polls Show Rising Cost of Drugs Is One Of The Most Important Issues To U.S. Voters

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coalition Against Patent Abuse (CAPA) – a diverse coalition of healthcare providers, consumer groups, patient advocacy organizations, free-market advocates and others – released a memo to the two major Presidential campaigns and Members of Congress today encouraging Washington next year to address Big Pharma’s abuses of the patent system that keeps drug prices high for patients and the entire U.S. healthcare system.  As CAPA outlines in this new policy memo, a major driver of high prescription drug costs is anticompetitive patent abuse that prevents generic competition from entering the marketplace, limiting access to affordable medications for millions of patients. 

“Americans pay almost four times more for drugs than any other countries, creating one of the largest problems facing the U.S. healthcare system today.  In the midst of a global pandemic, our leaders must do more to create a balance between competition and innovation to help combat financial hardships that the federal government and millions of patients have found themselves in,” stated Matthew Lane, executive director of the Coalition Against Patent Abuse.  “Policies that reduce anticompetitive gaming of the patent system and support the robust entry of generic medications would produce tremendous savings for Americans – and millions of voters are casting their ballot for a candidate who will do just that.”

CAPA recommends the following four goals for the next Administration & Congress:

  • Work to remove incentives to create patent thickets while preserving innovation.
  • Support Inter Partes Review as an efficient way to remove invalid patents.
  • Strengthen drug policy to prevent regulatory gaming.
  • Keep drug pricing in mind when setting any new policy.

Key Facts:

  • Americans individually pay 3.7 times more for drugs than other countries. In 2015, prescription drug spending in the U.S. totaled $1,000 per person.
  • In 2018, the U.S. saved $293 billion from generic competition. Brand-name drugs represent only 10 percent of prescriptions but 77 percent of drug spending.
  • Many expensive older drugs already have competition in other countries but not in the U.S. due to the lapse of exclusivities. These drugs would be 79% less expensive today if they followed the average savings from generic entry. As for biosimilars, an IQVIA report, using an estimated savings of about 30%, projects $100 billion in savings from biosimilar competition over the next five years, although the authors note that higher discounts have occurred and are possible in the future.

Read more about CAPA’s recommendations to fight abuses of the patent system and lower drug costs here.