Posts Tagged: "Drug"

95 percent of WHO’s essential medicines are off-patent

The vast majority of medicines found on WHO’s model list of essential medicines are off-patent according to information published by the World International Property Organization (WIPO). As of 2013, 95 percent of the 375 pharmaceutical compounds on that year’s MLEM were off-patent, indicating a high likelihood that generic equivalents of treatments are available. Going back to the early 2000s, the percentage of essential medicine on WHO’s MLEM which are off-patent has consistently been between 90 to 95 percent. Thus, it seems clear that the patent system has served its intended purpose: To incentivize the creation of important, innovative, even live saving products that society can reap the benefits from long after the exclusivity of the patent has expired.

Is Nome, Alaska ready for Paragraph 4 ANDA litigation? How about San Juan, Puerto Rico?

Nome, Alaska and San Juan, Puerto Rico are both home to a federal courthouse where, ostensibly, under the recent Acorda Therapeutics holding and subsequent court decisions, a generic pharmaceutical company will be subject to personal jurisdiction if they file an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 817 F.3d 755 (Fed. Cir. 2016), the Federal Circuit held that an ANDA filer opens themselves up to nationwide personal jurisdiction merely by virtue of filing an ANDA application. This is a broad holding that, in effect, subjects a generic company to personal jurisdiction in any forum that has a district court.

The EpiPen Episode’s Silver Lining

EpiPen’s eruptive timing was important. Had Congress been in town, lawmakers would have filled the front pages with populist blather. Had Mylan been less forthcoming about the retail drug supply chain, the press would have been less likely to look into its composition. Had Mylan’s CEO not been a sitting Senator’s daughter, gossipy Hill reporters would have been bored. If health insurer withdrawals from ACA exchanges had not led to higher consumer costs and rates to match, and most important, if anaphylaxis did not simultaneously threaten the lives so many children and bust the back-to-school budgets of more than 15 million middle American families, the multi component drug pricing issues might have been buried on news papers’ back pages. EpiPen pulled these issues out of hiding into the light of public concern where oversimplified self-serving solutions tend to wilt. The fact is we have been treated to a highly publicized health pricing tutorial using a live case study to learn about the many drivers of retail drug pricing.

Government is to blame for the skyrocketing price of EpiPens, not patents

The problem is that the government is standing in the way of these competitive autoinjectors getting into the hands of the patients who need them. For example, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has a competitive autoinjector. However, in March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected Teva’s application to bring its competitive autoinjector to patients… While Mylan, like most large pharmaceutical manufacturers, has spent millions of dollars on lobbyists and political campaign contributions, there is no evidence of any illegal quid pro quo. Mylan is simply acting in the interests of its shareholders. It is the system itself, not Mylan, that is corrupt.

Are Patents the Reason Poor Countries Lack Healthcare?

A consistent charge against the patent system is that it denies the poor access to critical medicines. This belief led the UN Secretary General to launch his High Level Panel on Access to Medicines that is supported by groups like Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)… As to UN Secretary General’s claim of a “policy incoherence” between IP rights and access to medicines, without the patent system there will be a lot fewer drugs to access here or abroad. That’s a thought he might ponder.

Public Health and Bioscientific War on Superbugs is Hobbled by IP Uncertainties

How will our patent system treat this wonderful new discovery? How long will it take before its curative benefits can be deployed ? We can only hope that DC’s meddlers in our innovation ecosystem read the Ms. Sun’s article. Because however fervently the medical and scientific communities respond to this growing superbug crisis, IP’s DC government legal eagles are either unaware or unconcerned. The USPTO is regularly rejecting microbial patent applications in blind servitude to Alice-Mayo’s confusing eligibility formula. We can hope, but cannot be assured, the Federal Circuit will make sense some day of Alice-Mayo’s two-step test. But when? Worse, it appears that SCOTUS is infected by the anti-patent poison infesting our Capitol. How refreshing it would be to have our Congress and the nation’s highest Court be as concerned with superbugs as they seem to be with PR-created patent trolls.

Reverse Payment Settlements and Holdup Under PTAB

One reason the PTAB is convenient for reaching reverse payment deals is that there is no direct antitrust oversight, since its judges are administrators with very narrow legal authority. Further, while there is a statute requiring agreements between Hatch-Waxman firms to be submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for antitrust review, the parties may attempt to evade it. The statute requires submission of agreements that relate to the manufacture or sale of either firm’s drug. The parties might therefore feel justified (rightly or wrongly) in not submitting a consent decree stating that the patent is valid and would be infringed by the proposed generic, since this does not expressly address manufacture or sales. Alternatively, it could be that the parties submit a district court consent decree (which includes no reverse payment), but not the PTAB settlement (which could include a reverse payment). After all, a PTAB settlement simply says that the parties agree to terminate the IPR – it need not declare the patent valid – and this arguably does not relate to manufacture or sales.

The superbugs are here, but where are we?

Superbugs have powerful friends in high places. SCOTUS’s patent eligibility criteria emanating from Mayo/Alice’s mysterious “laws of nature” and credible reports of unremitting turndowns by USPTO applicants portend hard times commercializing much of this research, which means its development and testing may never make it to licensed distribution. In Congress, deficit scolds roll back much needed NIH funding while solons clamor for more military weapons that have long outlived their usefulness. Even sexy pandemics like Ebola, Pan Asian Flu, and Zika and competing with Biden moonshots and precision medicine initiatives are forced to forage for the fiscal nourishment they need to compete and commercialize their critical research.

Counterfeit Medicines and the Role of IP in Patient Safety

Given the devastating impact of counterfeit medicines on patients and the importance of intellectual property protection in combating pharmaceutical counterfeiting, it is troubling that the UN High Level Panel seems poised to prevent a series of recommendations that will undermine public health under the guise of enhancing access. Without the assurance of quality medicines, access is meaningless. Moreover, while falsely presenting intellectual property rights as the primary obstacle to global health care, the High Level Panel downplays a host of other factors that prevent developing country patients from getting the drugs they need: inadequate medical infrastructure, insufficient political will, a shortage of clinical trials in nations where neglected diseases are endemic, poverty, and insufficient market incentives.

$1.5 billion Celator purchase buoys the financial future of Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ oncology division

Of particular interest in this deal is a drug in Celator’s pipeline is Vyxeos (cytarabine:daunorubicin), an injectable liposomal treatment for blood cancers, especially acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The treatment, which has received a Breakthrough Therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for fast-tracked approval, recently achieved positive results in a Phase 3 trial. Patients with high-risk, or secondary, AML who received Vyxeos injections saw a significant increase in overall survival rates, 41.5 percent for Vyxeos-treated patients versus 27.6 percent for other patients in a year’s time.

FDA approval of Teflaro puts Allergan’s portfolio of anti-infectives into focus

Treatments for infectious diseases is one area where Allergan is looking to buoy its fortunes in the coming years. The first quarter of 2016 was a strong one for Allergan, which saw its overall revenues increase by 48 percent when compared to 2015’s first quarter; revenue for Allergan’s branded pharmaceutical divisions grew by 71 percent year-over-year. The company’s infectious disease division was not its most profitable and yet it saw the greatest amount of growth compared to the previous year. Teflaro entered the Allergan portfolio thanks to a series of acquisitions in the biopharma realm over the past few years. The pediatric anti-infective was first developed by Forest Laboratories, formerly of New York City, which was acquired by Actavis in February 2014 for a combination of cash and equity which reached a reported $25 billion.

UN Access to Medicines Panel Undermines Bayh-Dole 

We cannot know what biological killer will next emerge, when it will be born and where globalization’s winds will take it. But we do know that choking-off future private investment in future healthcare needs is foolhardy. And that is what will happen if the UN sanctions this finding. Investment hates uncertainty. And innovation dies without investment. The underdeveloped countries the Panel may seek to protect are often those that suffer first from epidemics like HIV /Aids, Ebola; and Zika. They will suffer first when the next biological scourge begins taking lives.

UN Access to Medicine Recommendations Will Increase Human Suffering

The pending report of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines not only attacks the patent system as predicted, but proposes giving the organization oversight of drug development. If you think United Nation functionaries would be more effective than entrepreneurs, you’ll be delighted. If you live in the real world where bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

IP Protection Critical for BioPharma Given Number, Cost and Complexity of Clinical Trials

Biopharmaceutical innovation is difficult, expensive, time-consuming, and risky. More so now than ever. A 2014 study by Tufts University’s Center for the Study of Drug Development calculated that a mere one in eight (11.8%) of all drugs that enter clinical trials are ultimately approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug development gamble appears to be getting riskier. A report released on May 25th by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the biotechnology industry’s national trade group, finds that fewer than one in ten (9.6%) of drugs that enter clinical trials will gain approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The UN’s Misguided Focus on Patents as the Cause of Drug Shortages

Improving access to needed medicines for those suffering the ravages of disease in developing countries is a serious issue. There are many factors contributing to the problem including poor transportation systems, lack of available health care and education, endemic poverty, trade barriers, systematic corruption and, of course, the cost of drugs. Yet the U.N. Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines is focusing on the patent system as the source of the problem. The report is due next month. The Panel is to “address the policy incoherence between intellectual property laws and access to medicines.”