Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Allow Medicare To Negotiate Drug Prices
PhRMA is already pushing back on the measure saying it would let the government decide what medicines patients can get. In other news, an advocacy group is challenging Gilead's patents on the hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.
Frustrated With Trump, Dems Introduce Drug Pricing Bill
Several high-profile Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill to let Medicare negotiate drug prices, saying they are frustrated the measure hasn’t received a full-throated endorsement from Trump. "Well, the campaign is over,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said at a press conference. “He’s president now. We need him to join us in taking on the pharmaceutical industry." (Roubein, 10/25)
Gilead Faces Challenge To U.S. Hepatitis C Patents From Advocacy Group
In the latest attempt to attack the cost of hepatitis C drugs, an advocacy group is challenging several U.S. patents for the Sovaldi treatment that is sold by Gilead Sciences (GILD). The group wants to overturn six patents for the drug, which is the oldest of several Gilead hepatitis C medicines, in hopes of spurring lower-cost generic versions to become available sooner than might otherwise be possible. The group contended that U.S. taxpayers can save $10 billion and generics can get to market 14 years faster if it succeeds. (Silverman, 10/25)
Gilead’s Patents On Hepatitis C Drug Challenged By Consumer Group
Gilead Sciences Inc.’s U.S. patents on the blockbuster $84,000 hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi were challenged by a consumer group that’s battled the drugmaker around the world over the pricing. The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge, a nonprofit focused on how patents affect access to medicine, said that it’s filed petitions with the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board seeking to challenge intellectual-property rights that would keep generic versions of Sovaldi from entering the market. (Decker and Koons, 10/25)