Drug policy 101: Drug patents

As drug prices continue rising unsustainably in the United States, patients and payers need to understand — and policy makers need to address — how pharmaceutical companies use patents to maintain monopolies and pricing power.

Patents serve as important catalysts for innovation. But in recent years, companies — including pharmaceutical companies — have been scrutinized for leveraging the patent system far beyond what the Congress intended to maximize profits and reduce competition.

This paper:
• Provides background on the basics of obtaining a patent
• Explains how pharmaceutical companies maximize the commercial life of a drug
• Discusses how the U.S. could support a fair patent system

Full paper: Drug policy 101: Drug patents

Other papers in this series: