Over 15 Year Period, Brand Name Drug Companies Increasingly Filed for “Secondary” Patents Compared to Original Patents for New Drugs

Washington, D.C. –  The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) issued a statement Wednesday reacting to a new analysis published in The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) examining the number of “secondary” patent filings brand name drug manufacturers pursued between 2000 and 2015. According to coverage of the analysis in STAT News, “there has been a whopping 200 percent increase in patents filed by companies that made few substantive changes to their drugs during [this] 15-year period.”

“This analysis underscores Big Pharma’s egregious abuse of the patent system is escalating as the pharmaceutical industry focuses on innovating new and more effective strategies to exploit loopholes and extend monopoly pricing on blockbuster products,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “Big Pharma’s increasing reliance on anti-competitive tactics designed to keep drug prices high underscores the critical urgency for Congress to advance bipartisan market-based solutions like Cornyn-Blumenthal that will hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for its patent abuse.”

According to STAT News, the analysis published in JAMA found that from 2000 to 2015, “The ratio of continuation patents increased from 0.6 for drugs that were approved in 2000 to 1.8 for drugs approved in 2015,” or a 200 percent increase. Meanwhile, “the ratio of the number of original patents for each [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] FDA approval increased by just 15 percent.”

In addition, the ratio of the number of patents for each drug listed in the FDA’s Orange Book, “increased from 1.9 for those approved in 2000 to 3.2 for those approved in 2015.” This amounts to a 68 percent increase in the number of patents on each drug, underscoring Big Pharma’s increasing focus on pursuing patents to protect profits and block competition.

Read the full analysis in JAMA HERE.

Read coverage on the analysis from STAT News HERE.

Read about how Big Pharma’s patent abuse costs Americans over $40 billion in just one year HERE.

Read more on bipartisan, market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable HERE.

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