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Bloomberg Seeks to Limit Drug Patent Protection to Reduce Costs

Michael Bloomberg arrives to speak during an event in Aventura, Florida on Jan. 26.

Michael Bloomberg arrives to speak during an event in Aventura, Florida on Jan. 26.

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Democratic presidential Michael Bloomberg would seek to reduce the cost of prescription drugs with a plan that includes limiting new brand-name drugs to a single patent to get lower-priced generics to the market faster.

There have been unsuccessful efforts to limit so-called “evergreening,” or obtaining multiple patents to extend exclusivity in the past. But the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said he would work with Congress to ensure only qualifying products get 20-year patent protection to stop manufacturers from slowing the introduction of generics.