In today's world, the process of providing access to affordable healthcare should be easier than it is. Globally, we're all affected by the rising costs of healthcare in the face of an aging population – increasing expenditures for healthcare is a challenge in every country where Teva has a presence.
A vast majority of Teva's current business is in the U.S., where a significant portion of healthcare funds are spent on expensive biologic therapies. For the past decade, generic pharmaceutical companies have been working towards the goal of bringing biosimilars to patients in the U.S. Around the world, the biologics markets are seeing increased competition, which is driving down the price of these expensive therapies. However, here in the U.S., we have legislation that essentially discourages companies from creating a true biosimilar. Brand companies are given 12 years of monopoly protection, and also the opportunity to make a slight "tweak" to their therapy to start the clock all over again. This was the bill that was passed by both the House and Senate – who are elected to represent the people. If you ask me, the people should have wanted a bill that enabled lower-cost alternatives, not discouraged them.
As I write this, we are witnessing the FTC's attempt to secure passage of anti-consumer patent settlement legislationby attaching it to a bill that covers much needed funding for teachers and U.S. soldiers. We believe that the banning of all patent settlements not only hinders the process of challenging patents but ultimately drastically reduces American's access to affordable medicine. If this isn't the system at its worst, I don't know what is.
Similar regulatory challenges exist throughout the rest of the world.
Measures that are being introduced throughout Western Europe, Israel, Russia and even countries in Latin America may cause delays in market entry… all to the detriment of patients. We continue to use our voice in these countries to encourage regulation that provides guidelines and governance to enhance the quality of our healthcare systems.