I can see both sides of this with the demand for cheaper drugs and the need for the company who developed them to be protected so they can recoup their expenses.  We have couple other issues involved here too in the fact that producing a drug due to technology may not take as much time as it did before.  The reason for this is technology and modular algorithms in genomics for one example, so 10 year protection is a long time, especially when you have insurance companies that wont pay many of them, bad when it comes to cancer drugs.image

On the other hand there’s been a lot of research and development to get all biotech drugs to where they are today and I mean years in that respect, and now we are seeing more and more of knowledge being shared too as to go back and start from scratch is like impossible.  It would be like Microsoft dumping everything they have developed and starting with brand new code, it’s not going to happen by any shape or form.  Just as software companies share and rely on research from other firms, so does biotech.  They are not starting from scratch and there’s a lot to build on here.  Based on how this is done today, 12 years is way too long for a patent to work with current economical conditions and should be shortened.  Those days are gone!

Look at where we are with the other side of the coin with generics, different from biotech drugs.  We have legal suits all over the place challenging patents to enable generic drugs to get to the market sooner and all kinds of “sweetheart” deals made there too.  Teva is certainly the king of lawsuits in order to get their generic equivalents out there.  Reducing this time frame only makes sense as the “glory” days are gone.

Now we have FTC involved in exploring those “sweetheart” deals too.

Generic Drug Deals – One More Area Being Explored to Help Reduce Cost of Healthcare by the FTC

Everything else in the world is selling for less today and granted pharmaceuticals have a captive audience by all means as we need cures and treatments.  Biotech drugs also face a difficult task with many of the big pharma companies not carrying the expense of R and D as well, they farm it out to start ups for one, so if they fail, no skin off of their back, or money down the drain; however, when trials start looking good, big pharma will rush right back in if there’s a chance to make a buck here.  I write about this stuff all the time here and you can search and find relative posts about this topic. 

The Medical Quack: Here Come the Bio Similar Drugs – Bill in ...

From a patient’s perspective, it makes no difference if the drug I or someone else is taking is biotech in composition or molecular, it’s just what we need for our treatments and cures, so if perhaps pharma and biotech began to perhaps see this how the consumer views it, perhaps we might see a few different opinions arise, as again as we are constantly “scored” by insurance companies and assessed with behavioral algorithms that are harder to fit, well do you think they are going to roll over and pay big bucks here, it’s already a problem as I have seen some treatments declared investigational that have been FDA approved for years, but it’s an avenue to give a “text explanation” for denying coverage or a claim.  Help keep healthcare affordable and go with the flow, the big profit days are growing slimmer all the time.  BD 

President Obama is pushing for a last-minute change in the final health care bill that would shorten the time that expensive biotechnology drugs would be shielded from generic competition, pharmaceutical industry officials said Thursday.

Any White House intervention would be welcome news to generic pharmaceutical companies, as well as to some consumer groups, insurers and big employers, which have complained that the proposed House and Senate bills would not allow for robust competition.

Both the House and Senate bills would for the first time create rules by which so-called biologic drugs, which are made in living cells, would be subject to copycat competition, saving the health care system billions of dollars over 10 years.

To retain incentives for innovation, both the House and Senate bills would provide a brand-name biologic drug with 12 years of protection from competition, even if the drug’s patents expire before that.

Biologic Drugs May Get Less Protection - Prescriptions Blog - NYTimes.com


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