Decades ago, Congress created a sensible system to encourage developers of more affordable generic medicines to challenge patents protecting expensive brand-name drugs. These brand-name drug patents keep a more affordable, safe and effective generic option off the market and out of the hands of patients.
The system that Congress created 35 years ago is based on the idea that for generic companies to incur the tremendous financial and legal costs of contesting brand-name drug patents they would need some kind of reward or incentive. Congress wisely settled on providing the first generic company that challenges a brand-name drug patent a period of time to sell its competing medicine before other generic companies start offering their own alternatives.
By promoting patent challenges, a period of exclusivity encourages earlier entry of safe and effective generic alternatives that are less expensive than the brand. These 180 days have been critical to ensuring that American patients can rely on the ready availability of safe, effective and more affordable generic medicines.
But this track record of success is at risk. The Senate is considering legislation that would gut this crucial incentive. If you are concerned about the ever-rising price of prescription medicines, contact your Senator now and urge him or her to BLOCK 205 and this big giveaway to Big Pharma when considering the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019.