[Ip-health] Secondary Patenting Of Branded Pharmaceuticals: A Case Study Of How Patents On Two HIV Drugs Could Be Extended For Decades

Tahir Amin tahir at i-mak.org
Tue Oct 9 19:56:24 PDT 2012


Secondary Patenting Of Branded Pharmaceuticals: A Case Study Of How Patents
On Two HIV Drugs Could Be Extended For Decades

Tahir Amin and Aaron Kesselheim

http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/31/10/2286.abstract

Abstract

Pharmaceutical manufacturers rely on patents to protect their intellectual
property and often seek to extend market exclusivity for their products to
maximize their return on investment. One method is by obtaining patents on
features other than the original active drug ingredient, including
secondary patents on alternate formulations of the drug or on methods of
administration. This article examines how secondary patents can extend
market exclusivity and thus delay generic competition, using as an example
two key antiretroviral drugs for the management of HIV: ritonavir (Norvir)
and lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra). We identified 108 patents, which
together could delay generic competition until at least 2028—twelve years
after the expiration of the patents on the drugs’ base compounds and
thirty-nine years after the first patents on ritonavir were filed. Some of
the secondary patents that were reviewed were found to be of questionable
inventiveness. We argue that increased transparency for existing patents,
stricter patentability standards, and increased opportunities to challenge
patent applications and patents could reduce inappropriate market
exclusivity extensions on brand-name drugs and open the door to lower-cost
generics.

For a PDF of the article, contact tahir at i-mak.org


-- 
Tahir Amin
Co-Founder and Director of IP
Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK)
Email: tahir at i-mak.org
www.i-mak.org



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