From the Office of Senator Hatch:
Washington, D.C.—Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah and Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, introduced the Dormant Therapies Act, a bill that will establish a new class of pharmaceuticals known as “dormant therapies” eligible for 15 years of data protection. This provision will remove the “ticking patent clock” conundrum that forces companies to prioritize research based on which compounds can be brought quickly to market.
“I’m pleased Senator Bennet has joined me in this important effort to encourage the development of desperately needed treatments for some of the most troubling diseases and disabilities out there,” Hatch said. “We hope to create a time-certain protection to encourage innovators to capture lost opportunities and bring new and essential products to market for the patients who need them.”
“We need to find every possible way to encourage innovation that will improve health care and save lives,” Bennet said. “This bipartisan bill will drive investment in the research and development of therapies that patients need the most.”
Millions of patients struggle with conditions such as Alpha-1, ALS, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, lupus, mesothelioma, and multiple sclerosis. For many individuals with a long-term disease or disability, no treatments are available. Of over 7,000 known diseases or conditions, there are only satisfactory treatments for about 500 of them.
It takes on average 14 years for a compound to make its way through the therapeutic pipeline from discovery, through clinical trials, to formal approval, and eventually to the patient. Because patents last for only 20 years, much of this time is consumed during the lengthy research and development process. The result is companies are investing in research on compounds that can be brought to market quickly, rather than new treatments that could serve people with the most complex medical needs.
The Dormant Therapies Act will help create promising opportunities to bring new drugs to market for the patients who need them most.