Congressman Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, announced yesterday with his Democratic counterpart, Subcommittee Chairman Hank Johnson (GA), the introduction of the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Improvements to Patent Litigation Act, amending the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA).
Issa released the following statement:
“This legislation is a historic reform to our patent system that will reduce drug costs, unleash medical innovation and enhance patient access to the treatments they need and deserve. I look forward to working with Chairman Johnson and my Senate colleagues to advance this patient-centered proposal.”
A Senate companion bill containing this legislative text was introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT) and John Cornyn (TX).
In a statement released by his office, Chairman Johnson said the bill would “lower prescription drug prices by streamlining and making it more cost effective for generic drug makers to get their products to consumers” by “promoting the development of biosimilars—generic alternatives to brand-name biologics.”
Some pharmaceutical manufacturers have utilized the patent system to extend patents beyond their original intent, which has served to block generic and biosimilar manufacturers from entering the market. By reforming the patent process in this manner, anti-competitive behaviors will be reined in and biosimilar drugs will be more readily available.
Darrell Issa is the Representative of California’s 50th Congressional District, an entrepreneur, and a former patent holder.