posted by Clare Krusing
on March 31, 2016
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) jointly filed an amicus brief in support of the respondent in the Supreme Court case Cuozzo v. Lee, addressing the critical role of the inter partes review (IPR) process in promoting a competitive, affordable prescription drug market for consumers.
The IPR process is an important consumer protection against abusive patent extensions. It plays a vital role in quickly, efficiently and accurately clearing the system of weak patents — including those that artificially prolong drug exclusivity provisions in order to delay competition from generics. The IPR holds great promise in reducing anticompetitive “evergreening” practices that drive up health care costs for consumers.
As branded specialty drug costs continue to increase and outpace overall health care cost growth, any attempt to weaken a viable, administrative process that helps expedite patient access to more affordable medicines should be rejected.
“It is critical that any changes to current law avoid reducing or delaying patient access to more affordable generic drugs and biosimilars,” said Chip Davis, President and CEO, GPhA.
As many healthcare stakeholders note, including branded drug companies, generic drugs drive savings, not costs in our healthcare system. Branded drug company efforts to delay generic entry and block competition and extend patent life only drive up drug costs and jeopardize patient access to treatments. These tactics run counter to the goals of promoting a viable and competitive health care market for consumers, small and large businesses, and taxpayers.
“Consumers and the health system as a whole benefit from a more competitive prescription drug market,” AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner said. “Weakening the IPR process, and in turn, protecting monopoly-like pricing schemes threaten consumers’ access to more affordable prescription medications.”
AHIP is the national trade association representing the health insurance industry. AHIP’s members provide health insurance benefits and supplemental coverage to nearly 200 million Americans. AHIP advocates for public policies that expand access to affordable health care coverage for all Americans through a competitive marketplace that fosters choice, quality, and innovation.
GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals fill 88 percent of the prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but consume just 28 percent of the total drug spending. Additional information is available at gphaonline.org. Follow us on twitter: @gpha.
Providing Health Benefits for Over 200 Million Americans.