Enbrel Patent Could Delay Generic Competition Until 2028

“Amgen said Tuesday that a new patent had been granted that could protect its big-selling drug Enbrel from generic competition for 17 more years, a development that could undermine some of the savings contemplated in the federal health care legislation.

Enbrel, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, was one of several biotechnology drugs that were expected to face competition in the next few years from copycat versions, eventually saving the health care system billions of dollars a year. [...]

The main patent on Enbrel was to expire in October of next year. But the new patent could stave off such biosimilar competition until Nov. 22, 2028. By that time, Enbrel will have been on the market 30 years, far longer than the 20 years of protection expected in patent law.”

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/23/business/amgens-new-enbrel-patent-may-undercut-health-care-plan.html

6 Comments
6 comments
  1. Wren says:

    This angers and disgusts me. I wish there was a way to stop pharma companies from doing this sort of thing. I understand that they have to make a profit, but this is ridiculous. These drugs can cost more than $1,000/month, making even an insured person’s co-pay difficult. Those without insurance can’t afford them at all. Grrrrr.

  2. adrienne says:

    Nice. (sarcasm) So I can expect to pay $1,200 per month for the next 17 years? I don’t think I can even calculate how much that will be! I could probably buy a small house in the mid-west. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Deb aka abcsofra says:

    Why does this not surprise me? Oh well, hopefully Humira’s generic will work for the millions of sufferers out there that can not afford the current cost of biologics. Ironically they were working on a generic version outside of the U.S. And again I must question that if we can import meds made by pharmecuetical companies based in the U.S., why can’t we import meds made by other drug companies abroad? I just wish there was a way to get money out of Washington and out of politics as I know in my heart we are being bought off by large companies lobbyists influence in so many arenas in this country. It is just not right and time we take back our politics and put it in the hands of the voters!

  4. iorch says:

    Sad news for all those RA sufferers all over the world that cannot afford treatments like this.

    Seems that Enbrel manufacturers have not made enough cash ( 1/3 of the revenue cost of the company?) and that US goverment are gonna support that movement…From a economical point of view, it’s ok for your nation. From a ethical point of view, is ethically wrong. Absolutely wrong. I thought that democrats would have taken care of this kinds of issues, but no. Same dog, but different collar.
    :-(

  5. Anonymous says:

    Enbrel costs $2200 for a one month’s supply (4 self-injector pens at 50 mg) at my local pharmacy. It is a high price to pay — sadly, impossible for many — for the difference between lying in bed writhing in excruciating pain, immobile; and holding deformity at-bay and leading a productive life, possibly prolonging life itself. I speak from personal experience.

    I am truly grateful for health insurance with prescription coverage. My heart grieves for those with a debilitating, painful disease, who are un- or underinsured, who cannot afford the medicines that could help improve their life, perhaps even preserve it.

    Many of the pharmaceutical companies only offer low-cost prescriptions to those who already have some form of insurance. It seems that patent/intellectual property protection has emerged as the “patient” that deserves the most consideration.

    Hopefully with advocacy and awareness increasing, the real patient and their needs will prevail.

  6. Altf4 says:

    I had no idea that Enbrel was $2000/mth. I’m fortunate enough to not need it yet. But that’s just plain wrong..disgustingly wrong. Being in Canada I’m fortunate to have most things covered and I’m very thankful for that. But thats disgusting. How can someone live at all if they truly need it and don’t have some sort of coverage?

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