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Pharmaceuticals

Michigan Law Review

Intellectual Property Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Uneasy Case For Patent Law, Rachel E. Sachs Jan 2018

The Uneasy Case For Patent Law, Rachel E. Sachs

Michigan Law Review

A central tenet of patent law scholarship holds that if any scientific field truly needs patents to stimulate progress, it is pharmaceuticals. Patents are thought to be critical in encouraging pharmaceutical companies to develop and commercialize new therapies, due to the high costs of researching diseases, developing treatments, and bringing drugs through the complex, expensive approval process. Scholars and policymakers often point to patent law’s apparent success in the pharmaceutical industry to justify broader calls for more expansive patent rights.

This Article challenges this conventional wisdom about the centrality of patents to drug development by presenting a case study of …


An Administrative Meter Maid: Using Inter Partes Review And Post-Grant Review To Curb Exclusivity Parking Via The "Failure To Market" Provision Of The Hatch-Waxman Act, Brian T. Apel Oct 2015

An Administrative Meter Maid: Using Inter Partes Review And Post-Grant Review To Curb Exclusivity Parking Via The "Failure To Market" Provision Of The Hatch-Waxman Act, Brian T. Apel

Michigan Law Review

Congress created the unique Hatch-Waxman framework in 1984 to increase the availability of low-cost generic drugs while preserving patent incentives for new drug development. The Hatch-Waxman Act rewards generic drug companies that successfully challenge a pharmaceutical patent: 180 days of market exclusivity before any other generic firm can enter the market. When a generic firm obtains this reward, sometimes drug developers agree to pay generic firms to delay entering the market. These pay-for-delay agreements give rise to exclusivity parking and run counter to congressional intent by delaying full generic drug competition. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act created …


Unsettling Drug Patent Settlements: A Framework For Presumptive Illegality, Michael A. Carrier Oct 2009

Unsettling Drug Patent Settlements: A Framework For Presumptive Illegality, Michael A. Carrier

Michigan Law Review

A tidal wave of high drug prices has recently crashed across the U.S. economy. One of the primary culprits has been the increase in agreements by which brand-name drug manufacturers and generic firms have settled patent litigation. The framework for such agreements has been the Hatch-Waxman Act, which Congress enacted in 1984. One of the Act's goals was to provide incentives for generics to challenge brand-name patents. But brand firms have recently paid generics millions of dollars to drop their lawsuits and refrain from entering the market. These reverse-payment settlements threaten significant harm. Courts nonetheless have recently blessed them, explaining …