In September, Allergen, the pharmaceutical company that produces Restasis, announced that it would extend its for the dry-eye medicine patent by selling the patent to the Saint Regis Mohawk, a Native American Tribe. The tribe, located in upstate New York, would receive $13.75 million and claim sovereign immunity so that Allergen could avoid a patent challenge brought by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Once the challenge is over, the patent will be released BACK to Allergen and the tribe will continue to receive $15 million in annual royalties-- with one catch, the Allergen patent MUST remain valid. To read more, check out this article by the New York Times.
Does this not sit right with anyone else? Yikes. Well, it does not sit right with us at PFAM. That is why, last week, we joined several other organizations in speaking out against these practices. We believe that, just because a company's monopolistic profits are under threat, it does not meant that a pharmaceutical company can evade a legitimate review. These kind of measures to protect patents stifle innovation and hinder the access of medicine to all. Just imagine... if Allergen is allowed to successfully evade the federal government, imagine how many other companies will follow suit.
We at PFAM are proud to stand up and speak out! Join us!