Tahir Amin, DipLP, cofounder and director of intellectual property of Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK), discusses how to address high US drug prices.
What would have the biggest effect on drug pricing in America?
I think with the drug pricing debates there are a lot of options being pulled—policy levers. We fundamentally believe that unless we get to the route of the problem, which is the overpatenting problem, we will never solve the drug pricing problem. It will always remain in the powers of the pharmaceutical companies.
We have to restore much needed balance between the patent system and its incentives with how the market is failing at the moment for the public, because 1 in 4 Americans are having to make difficult choices between filling their prescriptions or putting food on the table, and we know that, according to statistics, drug prices are going to double by 2025.
We believe that there needs to be a significant correction in how we hand out these monopolies, because these monopolies are getting longer and they’re becoming that much more difficult to allow for competition in the market.