Washington, D.C. (March 3, 2009) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Ken Johnson issued the following statement today:
“We appreciate the work done by the bill's sponsors to work with all stakeholders and bring forward legislation on this important topic. However, we remain concerned that the legislation introduced today does not address the concerns of numerous stakeholders from many industries who would be negatively affected by certain provisions in the bill.
“By lowering the penalties for those found by a court to have infringed another's patent, the bill would reduce the value of the patents that are the lifeblood of America’s innovative business sectors, which depend on intellectual property protection. Likewise, the bill does not address one of the key recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences, which would reform the inequitable conduct doctrine.
“A strong and reliable patent system provides American businesses with an incentive that spurs innovation across the country. It is especially important for pharmaceutical and biotechnology innovators that are faced with the daunting average investment of 10 to 15 years and roughly one billion dollars to develop a new drug. We are concerned that the proposed framework will put this important incentive – and, with it, the jobs that are provided by innovative industries – at risk.
“Unfortunately, a reduction in penalties – or damages – will clearly put the promise of IP protection at risk by leaving patent holders unable to recover their losses if infringed. This reduces the overall value of the patents because holders will not be able to rely on that protection.
“As the United States confronts daunting economic challenges, now is the time to look toward recovery – not to enact legislation that would lead to the loss of jobs and would injure business sectors that are the heart of America’s economy.
“We are determined to work with all policymakers and stakeholders to help maintain the strength of America’s patent system. A strong patent system is as crucial to our economic competitiveness in the 21st century as it was in the last century."
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $44.5 billion in 2007 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $58.8 billion in 2007.
PhRMA Internet Address: www.phrma.org
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: www.pparx.org