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Top US Drugmakers Exploit US Patent System To Keep Generic Competition At Bay: Report

·1 min read
  • Citing the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge's (I-MAK) report, Reuters said that several makers of top-selling drugs in the U.S. face no competition and will cost an estimated further $167 billion before competition arrives.

  • "U.S. prescription drug spending, which exceeds $400 billion today, is projected to reach nearly a trillion dollars by 2030," said I-MAK in its report.

  • "Patent abuse is not limited to a few bad actors. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that an essential part of the pharmaceutical industry's business model for top-selling drugs is now built on maintaining market control by exploiting an outdated patent system," the group said.

  • I-MAK said generic copycats of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's (NYSE: BMY) / Pfizer Inc's (NYSE: PFE) blood clot treatment Eliquis and AbbVie Inc's (NYSE: ABBV) Humira, and Amgen Inc's (NASDAQ: AMGN) Enbrel for rheumatoid arthritis, have been available in Europe for an average of 7.7 years before their expected U.S. launch.

  • "Pharmaceutical companies secure hundreds of patents to block competition because they can," the report concluded.

  • Manufacturers of the top ten selling drugs in the U.S. filed an average of 140 patent applications per drug, 66% of which followed FDA approval, I-MAK said. An average of 74 patents were granted on each drug in Europe.

  • Photo by Arek Socha from Pixabay

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