Allergan transfers patent to Native American tribe

#1 Shkreli Award Winner, 2017 Drugmaker Allergan got the first spot in the 2017 Shkreli Awards for their gambit to protect a patent by transferring it to a Native American tribe. In September 2017, Allergan announced the sale of the patent for their dry-eye drug Restasis to Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe for $13.75 million (and $15 million in annual royalties). This would allow Allergan to benefit from the tribe’s “sovereign immunity” to patent challenges. Several Democratic Congressmen harshly criticized Allergan for using a “brazen loophole” to shield themselves from competition. Fortunately, in October federal judge William Bryson ruled the patent invalid, making it clear that drug companies will not be able to get away with “renting” sovereign immunity.

SOURCES: Katie Thomas, The New York Times; Meg Tirrell, CNBC; Joe Mullin, ArsTechnica

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