by Dennis Crouch
Over the past several months, the USPTO and FDA have been collaborating with the purpose of promoting competition and lower drug prices in the US. This week (Jan 19), the USPTO is holding a 7-hour joint listening session hosted by USPTO Director Kathy Vidal and FDA Commissioner Robert Califf.
The session has three key substantive areas:
1. The extent and impact of pharmaceutical and biotech companies acting in a two-faced manner: Arguing to the USPTO that their treatments represent major changes from what was previously done (and thus patentable); while simultaneously arguing to the FDA that then later arguing that these same treatments are quite similar to what is already on the market (and thus safe for use).
2. The extent that pharmaceutical and biotech companies are improperly gaming the patent system and then using those games to justify strong protections under Hatch-Waxman and the BPCIA.
3. How can the Orange Book process be improved to protect innovation while simultaneously improving competition? Prof. Jay Thomas’s remarks here are on point: “Despite their [extraordinary] impact, Orange Book patent listings receive no FDA oversight.” Read more