Generic Drugs

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

President Bush is moving to limit the way drug companies use patent laws to thwart competition from cheap, generic drugs.

Right now, those companies can tie potential competition up for years by filing multiple lawsuits.

A new rule proposed Monday would limit drug patent-holders to a single 30-month extension. A White House official estimates that consumers could save $3 billion a year.

With just over two weeks until Election Day, the high cost of prescription drugs has emerged as a major issue in the congressional campaign.

Democrats dismiss Bush's move as an "Election Day conversion". And they say it's no substitute for comprehensive legislation -- which passed the Senate in July but died in the GOP-run House.

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