Preserving Access To Cost Effective Drugs

Staff photo by Joe Phelan
This is a selection of unused medications collected by Carol Doorenbos, a pharmacist for Osco, left, and Kennebec Sheriff's Department Cpl. Mike Pion on Saturday morning at the Kennebec Valley YMCA in Manchester. The collection was part of a national drug take back program. See story page B1.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) today reintroduced the Preserving Access to Cost Effective Drugs (PACED) Act, which restores the power of the Patent and Trade Office, federal courts, and the International Trade Commission to review patents regardless of sovereign immunity claims made as part of sham transactions.

Under current law patent holders can pay Indian tribes to take “ownership” of their patents, which allows the tribes to claim sovereign immunity and avoid review in the case of a dispute. This could lead to widespread patent abuse and increased costs for consumers. After Allergan transferred its Restasis patents to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in 2017, the District Court, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Circuit, and the 5th Circuit all ruled that this was an invalid transfer aimed at raising the costs of prescription drugs. The case is now pending further review by the Supreme Court.

“It’s past time to end the patent abuse that is raising drug costs for our seniors. This bill will make sure unscrupulous patent holders can’t game the system and block their competitors from entering the market. That’ll go a long way to help Arkansans get the drugs they need more affordably,” said Cotton.     MORE

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