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
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jul 2012 @ 10:43am

    Seems like you're just desperate to find something--anything--that you can use to show that the patent system is the devil. The devil! Give me a break with the alarmist nonsense. The article you linked to says that doctors use the drug off-label regularly. You're not a doctor. You don't have a fucking clue about this drug, other than that it's addictive. So what? Pain medicines tend to be that way. I bet you wouldn't be whining about this drug if your own child was in pain and the doctor wanted to use it off-label. Says you: "the incentives here are highly questionable." Are they? What about your idiotic incentive to spread FUD about all IP law? What about your highly questionable ethics? You love to try and take everyone else apart, but the truth is you yourself can't withstand even moderate scrutiny. That's the reason why you run away from debates with your tail between your legs.

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