H.R. 1708
U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

The Affordable Prescription Drugs Act would use market competition to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.

Drawing from intellectual property laws already in place for the cable industry, pollution prevention inventions, and other products and services prone to anti-competitive behavior, the legislation would establish "compulsory licensing" for prescription drugs.

Under compulsory licensing arrangements, the government requires brand-name companies to license the right to sell generic versions of its patented product. In exchange, the generic companies are required to pay reasonable royalties to the patent holder. When the patent privilege is being mis-used at the expense of consumers, generic competition is a potent tool for ensuring broader access and reasonable prices.

The bill would also require drug companies to publicly disclose the financial information necessary to evaluate the prices charged for patented drugs.

Companies that fail to comply would be subject to civil penalties. Information is our best weapon against pricing abuse.

This legislation is not designed to produce artificially low prescription drug prices, which could jeopardize the pipeline of new prescription drugs.

Innovation would continue to be rewarded:

  1. the patent holder would receive fair royalty payments; and
  2. the patent holder would enjoy "first on the market" brand identity.

This legislation is designed to correct unjustifiably high prices that (1) inflate private and public health care spending; and (2) undercut access to prescription drugs.

CPT Home IP and Healthcare CPT page on Compulsory Licensing