Welch says pharmaceutical industry is abusing patent system
WASHINGTON (WCAX) - Vermont Sen. Peter Welch joined the recent Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property to talk about the pharmaceutical industry and the patent system.
Welch said there’s a complicated web of patents that prevents generic drugs from hitting the market, keeping a monopoly going and driving up costs for Americans.
He points to the drugs that should have had their period of exclusivity ended in America, but because of a quote “patent thicket,” competitors have been kept off the market.
“When you have a patent system that can be abused by the patent holders, and they can go beyond the period of exclusivity, it’s brutal on the cost of health care for American employers, to taxpayers, and to private payers,” Welch, D-Vermont, said in a statement.
He points to the drug Humira. He said the patent exclusivity was supposed to end in 2016. Welch said it ended in Europe, but not America, which he said means in the U.S. the immunosuppressive drug costs $3,000 while it’s $10 in Germany.
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