ICYMI: Kaiser Family Foundation Study Highlights Need for Patent Reform to Rein-In Big Pharma’s Price Gouging

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) examines the rising cost of Medicare Part D drugs and found that Big Pharma has jacked up the price of key prescription drugs well above the rate of inflation between 2016 and 2017.

Among the worst offenders, according to the KFF report, are drugs like Humira and Lyrica which saw their owners AbbVie and Pfizer hike prices by 13.2 and 15.7 percent above the inflation rate, respectively.

Companies like AbbVie and Pfizer are able to gouge patients because they have established effective monopolies by abusing the American patent system through the use of dishonest tactics like patent thicketing and product hopping.  For example, Humira, earned Abbvie over $20 billion in sales worldwide last year even though Humira’s patents were set to expire in 2016, which should have been when less costly generic versions would come to the market.  However, as that expiration date approached, Abbvie suddenly started applying for new patents.  In total AbbVie filed 247 patent applications, almost half of these patent applications were filed after the first patent expired.  It is inconceivable that somehow all these applications represent significant new “inventions” that are worthy of new patents and new 20-year monopolies. 

This report reinforces what CAPA has been telling lawmakers, that Big Pharma’s rampant abuse is hurting American patients and must be stopped.

Read more on how ending Big Pharma’s patent abuse will result in more affordable medications and treatments for America’s patients HERE.

Check out KFF’s full analysis HERE.