Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Black Friday SALE: Up to 54% OFF InvestingPro+ CLAIM OFFER

Consumer group says drugmakers abuse U.S. patent system to keep prices high

Stock Markets Sep 16, 2022 02:11PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. A sign stands outside a Bristol Myers Squibb facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder 2/3
 
AMGN
+0.12%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 
PFE
+0.74%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 
BMY
+0.13%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 
ABBV
+0.14%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 

By Ahmed Aboulenein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Makers of the top selling drugs in the United States are costing patients billions of dollars and worsening a drug pricing crisis by abusing the U.S. patent system to stifle competition and inflate prices, a consumer group said on Thursday,

The New York-based Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) said in a report that three of the top 10 selling drugs in the U.S. face no competition in the country and will cost Americans an estimated further $167 billion before they are expected to so.

"U.S. prescription drug spending, which exceeds $400 billion today, is projected to reach nearly a trillion dollars by 2030," said I-MAK, a non-profit group of lawyers and scientists part funded by groups critical of the pharmaceutical industry.

I-MAK said cheaper generic and biosimilar versions of Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)'s blood clot preventer Eliquis, AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV)'s Humira, and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN)'s Enbrel, both used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, will have been available in Europe for an average of 7.7 years before their expected U.S. launch.

AbbVie, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Pfizer, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Drugmakers have used the practice of seeking multiple patents for minor variations on a single invention, known as patent thickets, to stave off generic competition for decades.

"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.

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

It called on lawmakers and government agencies to end patent thickets and modernize the patent system.

Makers of the top ten selling drugs in the U.S. filed an average of 140 patent applications per drug, 66% of which followed U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, I-MAK said. An average of 74 patents were granted on each drug, four times as many patents than in Europe.

The Swiss competition commission (COMCO) on Thursday opened an investigation into Novartis over possible unlawful use of a patent to reduce competitive pressure.

Consumer group says drugmakers abuse U.S. patent system to keep prices high
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Danny Mphahlele
Danny Mphahlele Oct 28, 2022 3:25PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Danny
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email