The U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently sent a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office concerning the FDA’s concerns regarding pharmaceutical patents and their impact on innovation and access. Some of the concerns include the use of continuations to build patent thickets to raise litigation costs as well as resulting in possible delays of generic entry; evergreening practices; and product-hopping. Notably, the FDA is generally interested in increasing communication and collaboration to address those issues, including offering expertise, collecting additional information regarding IPRs and other post-grant procedures as well as inquiring whether examiners need more time to review patent applications. While the Trump Administration also had concerns regarding drug pricing, President Biden’s recent Executive Order concerning competition is the impetus for this letter’s push for increased collaboration.
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