Big Pharma is able to price gouge patients and avoid accountability.

For decades, drug makers have gamed the patent system to block out competition and protect their profits – maintaining monopolies and driving up prices without making improvements to the medications patients need most.

Take a look:

Of the 100 best selling drugs, nearly 80 percent have extended their patents at least once, and 50 percent have extended their patents multiple times to block generic competition and maintain their stranglehold on critical medications.

In fact, a recent series of studies conducted by Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK) found that of the top 12 grossing drugs in America, over 125 patent applications were filed and 71 were granted per drug. These patent applications attempted to block generic competition from entering the market by an average of 38 years, nearly double 20-year protection normally intended under U.S. patent laws.

I-MAK also found:

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