FTC Right to Challenge Junk Patent Listings

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Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent warning letters to 10 drug manufacturers challenging the “junk listings” of more than 300 patents in the FDA Orange Book for medicines treating diabetes, weight loss, asthma, and COPD. These letters follow FTC challenges to improper Orange Book patent listings last November, which were followed by companies delisting several of the challenged patents. Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program advocate, Steve Knievel, issued the following statement:

“It’s becoming harder for drug corporations to use patent shenanigans to thwart competition, thanks to the FTC and Chair Lina Khan.

“Improperly listing patents in the FDA Orange Book stymies generic competition which is proven to dramatically lowerprescription drug prices, saving patients and the public billions of dollars.

“Today’s letter is yet another demonstration from the Biden-Harris administration that Big Pharma business-as-usual monopoly abuses and price gouging will not be tolerated. The FDA should supplement FTC’s action by clarifying guidelines for patents that can be listed in the Orange Book, as called for by Sen. Warren and Rep. Jayapal. The government should also explore using licensing authorities to overcome pharmaceutical monopoly abuses, leaving no option off the table.”

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