As drug makers scramble over the biosimilar market, Boehringer Ingelheim has reportedly decided to focus exclusively on the U.S., a nascent, but particularly large opportunity for many pharmaceutical companies.

The decision is rooted in its efforts to sell a biosimilar version of the Humira rheumatoid arthritis medicine made by AbbVie (ABBV). Several other drug makers — Amgen (AMGN), Mylan (MYL), Biogen (BIIB), and Novartis (NVS) — have settled patent litigation in the U.S. with AbbVie. In doing so, these companies won the right to market their biosimilar versions in Europe this fall and in the U.S. in 2023.

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  • I wonder whether one solution to this stringing out of patent applications for a given drug is to require that all patent applications related to the development and manufacture of a given drug be filed at the same time. New, later patents could be issued only if there was a change in the manufacturing process and the patent would be for that change.

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