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

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  • 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industry's business model for top-selling drugs is now built on maintaining market control by exploiting an outdated patent system," the group said.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 BMYPfizer Inc's PFE blood clot treatment Eliquis and AbbVie Inc's ABBV Humira, and Amgen Inc's 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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