CSRxP: Senators Should Hold Big Pharma Accountable for Patent Abuse, Question Proposal to Loosen Rules

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jon Conradi
[email protected]

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) today released a statement ahead of two days of hearings before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property on the “State of Patent Eligibility in America.”

“At a time when one in four Americans cannot afford their medications, it is important that lawmakers hold Big Pharma accountable for patent abuse that contributes to rising drug prices,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “We urge Senate Judiciary lawmakers to use this key opportunity to press Big Pharma on their anti-competitive tactics and to highlight bipartisan, market-based solutions that will boost competition and increase transparency.”

“Lawmakers should also question and raise concerns with proposed legislation that would loosen patentability rules with the potential to limit innovation and competition,” Aronson continued. “We encourage senators on the Committee to focus on and advance bipartisan solutions, like the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act, that will increase competition and transparency.”

Changes to patentability rules in Section 101 of the Patent Act have been proposed by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE). The proposed measure would enable drug makers to patent scientific breakthroughs that contributed to the exploration and development of a new drug. Under the current patent system, a manufacturer is only able to patent inventive applications of that knowledge, not the knowledge itself.

If passed, these changes could have a number of negative effects, including:

  • Further hampering competition and boosting Big Pharma’s incentive and ability to build patent estates.
  • Stifling innovation by discouraging scientists and inventors from working in certain fields out of patent infringement concerns.

The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act of 2019 was introduced last month by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and is expected to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The legislation targets two of Big Pharma’s favored anti-competitive tactics by better defining patent thicketing and product hopping. The measure would help federal regulators crack down on drug makers who abuse the system by employing these tactics.

CSRxP encourages members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to stay focused on considering and advancing bipartisan, market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices in America.

More on the solutions supported by CSRxP can be found HERE.


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