Tactics used by drug companies to extend patent rights would be barred
under legislation approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Committee. If passed, the bill would save consumers an estimated $60 billion
over the next decade by speeding generic alternatives to market, according
to a report from the Federal Trade Commission.
Ranking Sen Edward Kennedy (D, Mass) pushed for the measure, arguing
that large drug makers have been exploiting loopholes in current patent law.
Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R, NH) and Sen Charles Schumer (D, NY) issued
a statement blasting the drug industry for stifling competition with frivolous
lawsuits and questionable payoffs to generic manufacturers.
Vastag B. Medicare Bill Uncertain. JAMA. 2003;290(1):29. doi:10.1001/jama.290.1.29-a