BIG PHARMA STIFFS US AGAIN!
GREEDY pharmaceutical giants are exploiting legal patent loopholes to keep their profitable drugs from being produced by generic manufacturers — at the expense of hard-working Americans, critics charge.
A recent report from I-MAK, a nonprofit advocating drug patent reform, alleges numerous industry heavyweights are purposely gaming the system to stonewall the competition!
U.S. patents grant brandname drug creators a period of exclusivity, typically 20 years. Once a medicine’s patent expires, other manufacturers are permitted to formulate a generic version, which is often sold at a lower price than the original.
But according to I-MAK, many companies make small tweaks to their drug formulations and file for new patents, sustaining their stranglehold and perpetuating their monopolies!
The tactic is so common it even has a name — evergreening!
“They get the power, they get the monopoly and they start hiking their prices,” charges Priti Krishtel, a health justice lawyer and co-founder of I-MAK.
The nonprofit’s report claims on average pharmaceutical companies file more than 140 patent applications per drug — with 66 percent of them being lodged after a medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration!
Federal officials stress the importance of incentivizing innovation for new medicines — but insist patents must not be used to unjustifiably delay generic drugs and biosimilar competition.
I-MAK co-founder Tahir Amin, an intellectual property researcher, suggests the government should more closely examine new patent filings and “raise the bar” when it comes to defining drug improvements.