STAT+: A battle is brewing between a senator and a nonprofit over pharma patenting practices

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) says the nonprofit Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge, or I-MAK, used “flawed methodology” to document patent "evergreening," a practice that protects drugmaker profits.

As the pharmaceutical industry faces pointed criticism over its patent practices, an effort appears to be under way to push back and challenge one of its leading critics in hopes of changing the narrative about patents and their role in prescription drug pricing.

The focus is on a nonprofit called the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge, or I-MAK, which has published several papers over the last few years criticizing drug makers for pursuing patents that may profitably extend the marketability of their medicines, but without necessarily adding any new, substantive value.

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