Press Release

Welch Applauds U.S. Patent Office’s Proposed Rules to Address Pharma’s Abuse of Patent System, Foster Competition and Innovation 

May 15, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) released the following statement applauding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the use of terminal disclaimers, a practice often used by pharmaceutical companies to create “patent thickets” which prevent cheaper generic and biosimilar medications from entering the market. Senator Welch along with colleagues Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) led the introduction of new bipartisan, bicameral legislation to streamline prescription drug patent litigation, encourage fair market competition, and lower prescription drug prices. 

“For far too long, Vermonters have faced higher drug prices because of Big Pharma’s greedy and anti-competitive tactics,” said Senator Welch. “That’s why I joined my colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation that addresses Big Pharma’s use of patent thickets, which create monopolies, stifle innovation, and drive up the cost of drugs. I’m glad to see these updated rules from the Patent Office which will incentivize true innovation while fostering market competition by allowing cheaper generic and biosimilar medications to enter the market to lower drug costs for patients across the country.”