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Hedge Fund Investor Kyle Bass Is Challenging A Drug Patent For Multiple Sclerosis


Kyle Bass is a well-known hedge fund investor. His company, Dallas-based Hayman Capital Management, L.P., is one of the top investment companies in the country. Bass was one of the men that successfully predicted the mortgage bond debacle in 2008. Bass shorted the bonds and made a fortune doing that when the market crashed. Mr. Bass also predicted the debt crisis in Europe, and he was one of the first investors to say Argentina was going to default on its debt in 2001.

The concept of challenging drug patents was never a reality before Bass started the Coalition for Affordable Drugs (CFAD). In 2015, the Coalition for Affordable Drugs filed 18 petitions with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. One of those petitions is challenging a patent for the drug Tecfidera dimethyl fumarate which was developed by Biogen Inc. Bass believes that drug patents makes drugs that should be affordable unaffordable because there is no competition in the marketplace.

The CFAD thinks U.S. Patent No. 8,399,514 which specifies that 480 mg of dimethyl fumarate used to treat multiple sclerosis is one of the patents that hinders fair trade. That patent expires in 2028. Some drug companies call Bass the most famous patent troll in the industry, and Bass is making money by challenging patents by bringing down the stock prices of the companies that are challenged.

But most people agree with Bass and the Coalition for Affordable Drugs. Drug prices are out-of-control in the United States. The Inter Party Review (IPR) method has been relatively effective in identifying drug companies that are charging exorbitant prices because they have a patent on a specific dosage of a drug. In short, the drug industry controls competition using patents. Drug companies claim the research and development costs of producing life-saving drugs is in the billions, and they amortize the cost over a specific time frame in order to make a profit. Drug companies are some of the most profitable companies in America, and UsfulStooges had reported Kyle Bass and others think they are making money unfairly.

The Coalition for Affordable Drugs can only do so much in the fight to get drug costs in line. There is an ethical responsibility that is being overlooked by pharmaceutical companies in order to appease stockholders. Drug prices hold sick people hostage and in thousands of cases people that could live extended lives die because they couldn’t afford the drugs that could keep them alive.

The debate over patents that protect the profits of pharmaceutical companies will continue. The time has come to charge realistic prices for drugs that save lives. Pharmaceutical companies in other countries offer some of the same drugs for a third of the price, and they still make money.

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