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Pharmaceutical companies patent new drugs they invent, but there are at least two ways that patents negatively affect the practice of medicine and patient care. Since patents only last 20 years before they are available to other companies, patent holders often use legal loopholes to extend the exclusivity of their drugs. The inventors of the drugs ask for and receive patents on drugs that bend statutory patenting requirements. Both actions might cause a monopoly on drugs, which in turn causes the cost of health care to rise and limits patient options.
When patent litigation ensues, documents regarding the patent and other documents relating to the drug or medical device must be provided during the discovery phase. Certain documents fall under confidentiality rules and are not discoverable. These documents must be separated from the discoverable documents prior to responding to discovery requests, interrogatories and requests for admissions.
Experienced, temporary pharmaceutical document review attorneys that are provided by legal staffing companies help firms by reviewing the documents prior to discovery. This allows the lead attorneys to pay more attention to other aspects of the case during litigation preparation.