New AARP Report Underscores Urgent Need For Patent Reform for Prescription Drugs

Study Finds Average Annual Cost For Specialty Drugs Climbed To Almost $79,000 In 2017

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 a new AARP report which found that the average annual retail cost of prescription drug therapy for a single specialty drug in 2017 was $78,781 per year – up seven percent from the previous year:

“This report underscores the importance and urgency of patent reform. For decades, Big Pharma has been abusing the U.S. patent system in order to block patients from accessing alternative and affordable medications. They employ underhanded tactics that extend their monopolies far beyond what the law intended. As a result, drug makers have free reign to jack up the prices of life-saving treatments, leaving patients without the medicines they need to survive.”

“Every American patient deserves access to safe and affordable medicines. By speeding generics and biosimilars to the market, we can lower the price of prescription drugs and health care costs for millions of patients. We urge Congress to work together to enact bipartisan solutions that stop Big Pharma from manipulating our nation’s patent system.”

The AARP report also found that the average annual cost for a single specialty drug was:

    • Almost $20,000 more than the median US household income ($60,336)
    • More than three times the median income for Medicare beneficiaries ($26,200)
    • Over four-and-a-half times higher than the average Social Security retirement benefit ($16,848)

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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, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.