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U.S. Patent System Crimps Drug Innovation for Toughest Diseases

Oct. 16, 2019, 11:01 AM

The U.S. patent system discourages drugmakers from tackling the country’s toughest health problems, such as Alzheimer’s and rare cancers. Starting the clock on patent life when an application is filed—instead of from issuance of a patent—leads to shorter periods of patent exclusivity, according to a paper to be published in fall 2020 in the Washington Law Review.

Smaller Window: The average patent term for drugs once they reach the market is actually closer to 12 years than the legal maximum of 14 years after a drug receives Food and Drug Administration approval, according to the analysis. Even a few weeks ...