Jan 26, 2023

New Matrix Global Advisors Report Shines Light on Cost of Big Pharma’s Patent Abuse

A new report released on Thursday by Matrix Global Advisors and commissioned by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs, “Patent Thickets and Lost Drug Savings,” examines the cost of Big Pharma’s use of ‘patent thickets’ on patients and the U.S. healthcare system. The report quantifies the one-year cost of lost savings on five brand name drugs around which Big Pharma has built especially egregious patent thickets: AbbVie’s autoimmune drug Humira and oncology drug Imbruvica, Regeneron’s ophthalmology drug Eylea, Amgen’s autoimmune drug Enbrel, and Bristol Myers Squibb’s oncology drug Opdivo.

The report assesses what the savings would be for these five drugs if “a steady state of competition [existed] where generics and biosimilars have achieved price discounts and uptake currently observed in the market.” Based on these calculations, the one-year cost of delayed competition from patent thickets on these five drugs would range from $1.8 billion to $7.6 billion. The one-year cost of each of these brand name drugs on the U.S. health care system due to their patent thickets is:

  • $7.6 billion for Humira
  • $3.1 billion for Imbruvica
  • $2.5 billion for Eylea
  • $1.9 billion for Enbrel
  • $1.8 billion for Opdivo

While the report points to recent progress on the issue of Big Pharma’s patent abuse, including efforts from lawmakers and President Biden to increase coordination between the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the report calls for “tangible legislative reforms… to stop this long-standing anticompetitive practice.” In particular, the report points to a bill cosponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act of 2021, which would “limit the number of patents a brand drug manufacturer can contest,” as one potential solution for lawmakers to consider.

The report will add to the momentum for policymakers to build on their recent major progress toward holding Big Pharma accountable, with additional market-based solutions to lower drug prices.

Read the full report from Matrix Global Advisors HERE.

Read more about how Big Pharma’s patent abuse Is “the root” of the drug pricing crisis HERE.

Learn more on the pharmaceutical industry’s patent abuse tactics HERE.

Read more on market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices HERE.