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Blumenthal Bill Targets Pharma's Manipulation Of Patent System

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
J. Scott Applewhite
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut introduced legislation that he hopes will bring down the high cost of prescription drugs. The bill would foster competition and prohibit the number of patents a pharmaceutical company could file.

Blumenthal says the cost of insulin is out of reach for low-income families because of the lack of competition in the prescription drug industry. He says the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act would prevent drug manufacturers from abusing the patent system. 

“One of the ways that they succeed in raising drug prices artificially and stopping competition is their misuse and abuse of patents. The impact for the country and Connecticut would be lower drug prices. Not only for insulin but for all pharmaceutical drugs.” 

Advocacy groups warn that drug prices are often increased behind closed doors without much-needed transparency for patients. They say drugs could be just marked up for profit.

For example, the cost of insulin doubled in recent years to $5,600 for the average prescription. 

Blumenthal says patients shouldn’t have to choose between paying their mortgage, putting food on the table or getting their medication.