Biologic Drugs Likely To Get Separate 12-Year Monopoly Protection Beyond Patents

from the and-for-that,-we-all-suffer dept

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?

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  1. identicon
    Ryan, 4 Aug 2009 @ 9:29am

    Re: Drug Patents

    You say these companies should not be issued monopolistic patents, then you say they need to be under strict control to avoid gouging. The latter is pointless(and harmful) if the government doesn't grant them extended monopolies.

    So no, they shouldn't be under any control, but they don't need to be controlled if we limit their IP rights. Of course, this is the complete opposite of what politicians enjoy doing, which is to reward lobbying by granting ever more stringent patents/copyrights and then embrace populism by ranting against those very companies when their asinine laws predictably lead to problems.

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