Testimony: Better resourced patent examination can improve drug price competition

How newly proposed patent fees can help and in one case possibly hurt access to generics and biosimilar drugs

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Patricia Kelmar, PIRG’s senior director for health care campaigns, testified before the U.S. Patent and Trademark office on May 18, 2023. She explained how the agency can align their proposed fee schedule with public interest priorities.

  1. Improving patent examination can help ferret out anticompetitive practices such as “patent thicketing” that keeps generic and biosimilar drugs off the market. Without competing therapeutically equivalent drugs competing with brand-name drugs, medication prices remain high.
  2. Increasing fees for the inter-partes review (IPR) system could make it financially impossible for the public to challenge weak patents.

Download the testimony at the link above to read more.

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Patricia Kelmar

Senior Director, Health Care Campaigns, PIRG

Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, associate state director at AARP New Jersey and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She was appointed to the Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee in 2022 and works with patient advocates across the U.S. Patricia enjoys walking along the Potomac River and sharing her love of books with friends and family around the world.

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