OxyContin Being Tested On Kids... So Drugmaker Can Get 6 More Months Of Patent Protection

from the skewed-priorities dept

Want a sense of just how screwed up the incentives of our patent system are today? Purdue Pharma, the makers of the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, is now running clinical tests to get the FDA to approve its use for kids as young as 6-years-old. Why? Because the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act section 505A includes a little "gift": if drugmakers conduct clinical studies for their drugs with kids, they can get six more months of patent protection. So even if they don't even sell OxyContin to six year olds, just securing the extended patent, thanks to the massive monopoly rents given to drugs still on patent, Purdue is likely to profit massively. Lots of people are reasonably troubled by this:
“They are doing (the pediatric trial) for patent exclusivity, there’s no doubt about it in my mind — not out of largesse,” said Dr. Elliot Krane, director of pain management at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. “That’s important for their bottom line.”
Of course, some will argue that if this provides better drug availability to kids, and those drugs really help the kids, then perhaps this isn't a bad thing. But, no matter what, the incentives here are highly questionable.

Filed Under: clinical trials, drug patents, fda, oxycontin
Companies: purdue pharma


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  1. identicon
    Karim, 5 Jul 2012 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    I suppose you didn't read this part:


    But three physicians working with Purdue on the trials said the Stamford, Conn.-based company appears to be doing the research to get a six-month extension on their patent for the original formulation of OxyContin, which expires next year.

    “They are doing (the pediatric trial) for patent exclusivity, there’s no doubt about it in my mind — not out of largesse,” said Dr. Elliot Krane, director of pain management at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. “That’s important for their bottom line.”


    or this:


    “There’s good medical evidence that suggests a brain that’s not fully mature is at greater risk at developing the disease of addiction,” said Andrew Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and the head of psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. The pediatric community underestimates those risks, he said, because they have given too much credence to drugmakers, who have systematically downplayed the dangers.

    “Much of that misinformation (came from a) campaign funded by Purdue.”



    ...or any of it for that matter.

    Or figure out the math:

    $2.8 Billion / 2 = $1.4 Billion

    I suppose you think that the physicians and "opioid" experts are just spreading FUD. Do you troll?

    p.s. I am not a doctor.

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