This new report by our partner I-MAK analyzes the twelve best selling drugs in the United States and shows how drugmakers file hundreds of patent applications – the vast majority of which are granted – to extend their monopolies far beyond the twenty years of protection intended under U.S. patent law.
“Overpatented” shows vividly how drugmakers abuse the patent system to introduce repeated and extensive price hikes to block generic competition for years or decades. Read more about the report and its relevance in the drug pricing debate in this Axios exclusive .
More patents do not result in more innovation. They result in more profit.
As Axios states, based on the report, the US’s highest-grossing drugs are protected by thickets of patents that will shield them from generic competition for years, sometimes decades.
- Patent protection keeps cheaper generics at bay, allowing the brand-name manufacturer to keep its prices high — or even raise them.
- I-MAK’s report is focused on the practice known as “evergreening” — taking out new patents on an existing drug, sometimes for minor changes, in order to extend its protection.