The FTC is difficult “junk” patents from 10 drugmakers, including Novo Nordisk's Ozempic

The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that this was the case difficult Hundreds of alleged “junk” patents that pharmaceutical firms consider cover 20 brand-name drugs, including Novo Nordisks Blockbuster drugs Ozempic, Saxenda and Victoza.

The FTC sent letters to 10 firms warning them that certain drug patents weren’t properly listed. These firms include Novo Nordisk, AstraZenecaBoehringer Ingelheim, Covis Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Teva Pharmaceuticals And Amphastar Pharmaceuticalsand a few of its subsidiaries.

Many of the drug patents cover type 2 diabetes in addition to asthma and inhalers for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Most top-selling drugs are protected by dozens of patents covering various ingredients, manufacturing processes, and mental property. Generic drug manufacturers can only bring cheaper versions of a brand-name drug to market if the patents have expired or are successfully challenged in court.

“By filing fake patent applications, pharmaceutical companies block competition and increase the cost of prescription drugs, forcing Americans to pay exorbitant prices for the drugs they rely on,” FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan said in a press release. “By challenging junk patent applications, the FTC combats these illegal tactics and ensures Americans have timely access to innovative and affordable versions of the medicines they need.”

The FTC also informed the Food and Drug Administration of the challenges. The FDA maintains patent records for approved drugs in a document called the Orange Book.

The FTC first challenged Dozens of brand-name drug patents last fall, prompting three drugmakers to clear their patents with the FDA. Five other firms didn’t.

Tuesday's announcement expands the Biden administration's efforts to crack down on alleged patent abuses by the pharmaceutical industry. The FTC has argued that drugmakers are unnecessarily filing dozens of additional patents on brand-name drugs to maintain their drug prices high and deter generic competitors from entering the U.S. market.

The patent disputes complement the Biden administration's broader efforts to make health care more cost-effective for Americans – a key pillar of President Joe Biden's 2024 re-election campaign.

“We welcome the FTC’s collaboration with the FDA to crack down on Big Pharma’s patent games and reduce the cost of prescription drugs – including weight loss and diabetes drugs,” Jon Donenberg, deputy director of the National Economic Council, said in a press release Statement to CNBC.

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