Study: Market Protections for Brand-Name Drugs Sustain High Prices

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<p>Seeking to promote public health goals like the development of new antibiotics for drug-resistant infections, some policymakers have proposed extending the period during which brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers can sell their products without facing competition from generic drug makers.</p><p>But new Commonwealth Fund–supported research published this week in <em>JAMA Internal Medicine </em>calls into question the impact of additional protections intended to spur further investment in new therapeutics, given that brand-name manufacturers already receive 12 to 16 years of market exclusivity, on average.</p>
<p>Researchers led by Aaron S. Kesselheim, M.D., with the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, found that current market exclusivity periods are sufficiently long that any extensions would have little impact on new drug development. Moreover, they can interact with each other to block generic competition that might lower prices for many prescription medications.</p>
<p>“The goal of policy in this area,” the study’s authors write, “should be to ensure that drug market exclusivity periods provide for fair return on investment but not block timely availability of lower-cost generic drugs.”</p> Read about the study