How a drug company made $114 billion by gaming the US patent system

The incident has become a case study in how drug companies artificially prop up prices of their best-selling drugs

Pharma Sector, Pharma Companies

In 2016, a blockbuster drug called Humira was poised to become a lot less valuable.
The key patent on the best-selling anti-inflammatory medication, used to treat conditions like arthritis, was expiring at the end of the year. Regulators had blessed a rival version of the drug, and more copycats were close behind. The onset of competition seemed likely to push down the medication’s $50,000-a-year list price.
Instead, the opposite happened.

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First Published: Jan 29 2023 | 10:39 PM IST

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