HOUSE RESOLUTION 18
(By Delegates Linville, Hornbuckle, Adkins, Anderson, Bridges, Brooks, Burkhammer, Butler, Cannon, Chiarelli, Clark, Coop-Gonzalez, Crouse, Dean, DeVault, Dillon, Dittman, Ferrell, Fluharty, Foggin, Forsht, Garcia, A. Hall, W. Hall, Hanna, Hansen, Heckert, Hillenbrand, Hite, Holstein, Honaker, Horst, Hott, Howell, Jennings, Keaton, Kirby, Kump, Longanacre, Lucas, Marple, Mazzocchi, Miller, Petitto, Phillips, C. Pritt, E. Pritt, Pushkin, Ross, Rowe, Skaff, Street, Tully, Ward, Warner, Williams, Willis, and Young)
March 10, 2023
Referred to the Committee on Rules
Urging the Congress of the United States to enact federal law that allows for the expiration on pharmaceutical product patents when the developer of the product has utilized the patent laws of the United States to charge in many cases ten or twenty times the costs to consumers in the United States as compared to other developed countries, in effect utilizing the patent laws of the United States for the unintended purpose of price gouging consumers.
Whereas, The purpose of U.S. patent laws has been to reward innovation by allowing a product developer exclusive right to produce and sale an invention has resulted in many successful products being developed to enhance our lives that may never have otherwise been developed; and
Whereas, The pharmaceutical companies in the United States spend billions of dollars a year in research and product development and have for decades used these protections to find alternative and unique products that enhance people’s lives; however, these companies have also been incentivized to develop products in a manner that can be utilized for the exclusive nature of patent law to maximize the profits of the companies by acquiring patents and thus preventing market competition; and
Whereas, This practice has facilitated annual double digit drug cost inflation, while in countries with different laws, consumers often pay less than 10% of the prices consumers in the United States pay; and
Whereas, The House of Delegates of West Virginia urges the U.S Congress to enact federal law that would authorize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct investigations when there is a disparity between costs in the United States and member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and to direct the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to expire patents on pharmaceutical products when the price of such products in any OECD member country fall below the price of the same products in the United States; and
Whereas, The House of Delegates supports Congressional action to preempt continued pharmaceutical price gouging of West Virginians by means of action by the FDA and USPTO; therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Delegates:
That the House of Delegates hereby urges the Congress of the United States to enact federal law that would expire patents on pharmaceutical products when the price gouging behavior threshold is identified as provided therein. The Clerk of the House of Delegates shall forward a copy of this resolution to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and the Minority Leader, the United States Senate Majority Leader and Minority Leader, the Chair of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and Ranking member, the Chair of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and Ranking member, the Chair of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee and Ranking member, West Virginia's U.S. Senators and Members of Congress, and the Clerk of the U.S. House and Senate respectively.