New re­port digs in­to top block­busters and their re­liance on patents to block com­pe­ti­tion

Al­though “pay-for-de­lay” agree­ments and oth­er egre­gious gener­ic-block­ing tac­tics may be in the rearview mir­ror, a new re­port from the non­prof­it I-Mak ex­plains how com­pa­nies are still look­ing to pro­tect the next gen­er­a­tion of block­busters with piles of new patents.

While some in­dus­try in­sid­ers point to a bro­ken sys­tem that in­cen­tivizes these dozens and dozens of new patents — on av­er­age there are 74 grant­ed patents on each of Amer­i­ca’s 10 top-sell­ing drugs — drug­mak­ers have filed more than 140 patent ap­pli­ca­tions on av­er­age per drug, and about two-thirds of those fil­ings came af­ter the ap­proval.

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