The Claritin Case

How One Firm Played the Patent Game

Al Gore doesn't mince words when it comes to pushing for cheaper prescription drugs. So it makes sense that he opposes efforts by pharmaceuticals companies to extend their patent rights in order to block cheaper generic drugs from reaching the market.

What doesn't make sense is that one of Gore's senior advisers, top-tier lobbyist Peter Knight, is a hired gun for pharmaceuticals giant Schering-Plough, which is in a red-hot battle to stretch out its patent for the best-selling allergy medication Claritin beyond 2002. The New Jersey-based company paid Knight's firm $100,000 in the first half of this year alone.

Of course,...

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