A few weeks ago, we noted that some biotech firms were pushing hard to get a separate monopoly
on biologic drugs, that went beyond
patent protection, as if that wasn't enough. While we had some thoughtful comments
from some industry insiders, claiming that the issue could be more about liability. If that's the case, then deal with the liability question, not the monopoly protections. Either way, Robert McClelland alerts us to the unfortunate news that our elected officials have caved in to what the big pharma companies wanted
and agreed to a new plan
that would give a twelve-year monopoly on these sorts of "biosimilars." It's still not clear why this is needed at all, other than to wipe out competition and make drugs much
more expensive. The two congressional reps who pushed this through were Representatives Anna Eshoo and Joe Barton. This is no surprise from Barton, but Eshoo, who represents part of Silicon Valley should know better than to be increasing monopoly protections.
Oh wait... a quick look over at OpenSecrets.org shows that (take a guess...) the single largest contributor to Eshoo's election campaigns has been (yup) pharmaceutical companies
. Oh, and they've already
been the largest contributors
to her 2010 re-election campaign. And people wonder why Larry Lessig's Change Congress
movement is getting attention. Even if she's being totally sincere in her position, how else can you look on this without saying it smacks of corruption with bought-and-paid-for legislation that gives pharma companies an extra monopoly to gain significant monopoly rents at the expense of the public?