ICYMI: New Report Shows Cost of Big Drug Companies’ Patent Abuse, Advocates for a More Affordable Market Call for Solutions to Increase Competition

Study Finds Yearly Cost of Patent Thickets on Five Top-Selling Brand Name Drugs Ranges from $1.8 to $7.6 Billion

In case you missed it, a new report from The Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD) and conducted by Matrix Global Advisors (MGA) found the yearly cost of big drug companies’ patent thickets on five top-selling prescription drugs ranges from $1.8 to $7.6 billion each. The study highlights that “many companies delay or block more affordable competitors from entering the market for far longer than the 20-year protection allowed by law.”

“This report quantifies the staggering effects of the patent system by some brand drug manufacturers,” MGA founder and CEO Alex Brill said in a statement on the report. “Policymakers have the opportunity to help lower drug prices for their constituents by advancing legislative reforms that restore competition to the marketplace and bring lower-cost alternatives like generics and biosimilars to market.”

Read the full report from MGA on the cost of big drug companies’ patent thickets HERE.

The study comes as health care experts and advocates for a more sustainable and affordable prescription drug market increasingly focus on solutions to end big drug companies’ abuse of the patent system.

In a recent op-ed published in The Hill, Tahir Amin and Priti Krishtel of the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) highlighted big drug companies’ common and egregious anti-competitive practices and called on Congress to advance solutions to increase competition to help lower prescription drug prices.

“Our nation’s patent system is distorted, one manifestation of a market system wildly out of balance,” Amin and Krishtel wrote. “Intended to fairly reward inventors for their contributions to society, our patent system now incentivizes and legitimizes corporate gamesmanship at the expense of the public interest. And when it comes to prescription drug patents, the consequences are devastating.”

“Today, many drugmakers are less focused on researching and developing new drugs than protecting their monopolies on old ones — to such an extent, in fact, that pharmaceutical companies file for an average of more than 140 patents on top-selling drugs,” the authors continued.

Read the full I-MAK op-ed in The Hill HERE.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) recently released a policy roadmap, “Unlocking an Affordable Future,” that lays out specific recommendations to promote greater competition, end anti-competitive practices that keep prices high, and support a more sustainable market to lower prescription drug costs for patients.