Allergan under scrutiny for Restasis patent transfer — 4 insights

Allergan is under legislative scrutiny for signing over patent rights for its eye drug, Restasis, to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Business Insider reports.

The move gives Allergan and the Restasis drug sovereign immunity from patent challenges. Allergan will be able to protect the drug from generic competitors because of the workaround.

Here's what you should know:

1. Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., introduced legislation that would close the "sovereign immunity loophole."

2. Allergan is defending the move saying it'll protect the drug and the company from patent trolls and hedge funds.

3. Allergan announced the deal in September. The St. Regis tribe received $13.75 million from Allergan and is eligible for up to $15 million in annual royalties. In 2016, Restasis accounted for 15 percent of Allergan's profits or approximately $1.5 billion in sales.

4. Since announcing the deal, several elected officials have come out against it, feeling it impairs competition. Ms. McCaskill said in a statement, "If this drug company thinks I’ll just sit by and watch, while they brazenly exploit loopholes to protect their profits and make Missourians pay more in the process, they obviously don’t know me very well. Any thinking person would look at what this company did and say, 'That should be illegal.'"

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