Overpatented, Overpriced:

How Excessive Pharmaceutical Patenting is Extending Monopolies and Driving up Drug Prices

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This report analyzes the twelve best selling drugs in the United States and reveals that drugmakers file hundreds of patent applications – the vast majority of which are granted – to extend their monopolies far beyond the twenty years of protection intended under U.S. patent law.

These patents are used by drugmakers for the purpose of forestalling generic competition while continuing to increase the price of these drugs. This report found that, on average, across the top twelve grossing drugs in America:

  • There are 125 patent applications filed and 71 granted patents per drug.
  • Prices have increased by 68% since 2012, and only one of the top twelve drugs has actually decreased in price.
  • There are 38 years of attempted patent protection blocking generic competition sought by drugmakers for each of these top grossing drugs – or nearly double the twenty year monopoly intended under U.S. patent law.
  • These top grossing drugs have already been on the U.S. market for 15 years.
  • Over half of the top twelve drugs in America have more than 100 attempted patents per drug.

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