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Exempting Brand-Name Drugs from Patent Rule Would Raise Medicare Costs

The pharmaceutical industry is asking Congress to exempt drug patents from an administrative procedure that allows patent challenges without having to go to federal court, The Wall Street Journal's Joseph Walker reports. But the Congressional Budget Office has found that enacting the exemption would delay the entry of new generic medicines to the market and would cost federal healthcare programs $1.3 billion over 10 years.

Jacob S. Sherkow, an associate law professor at New York Law School, told the WSJ that challenges to technology patents have been successful through the administrative procedure, but most pharma cases haven't been decided yet.