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Pharma’s ready to rumble … over patents
There’s a fight brewing over legislation meant to rein in the over-patenting of drugs. Drug makers are trying to gut a bill from Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that would open up drug makers to Federal Trade Commission lawsuits when they’re suspected of product hopping (where drug makers introduce a new, slightly tweaked version of a drug to thwart competition) and patent thicketing (where drug makers file dozens or even hundreds of patents on a single drug to keep competitors off the market well beyond the exclusivity period awarded by the FDA).