November 29, 2017 / 4:25 PM / a year ago

HHS nominee Azar declines to comment on Allergan patent move

Nov 29 (Reuters) - Alex Azar, the nominee for U.S. health and human services secretary and a former drug industry executive, on Wednesday declined to comment on the move by Allergan Inc to protect its patent on an eye medicine through an agreement with a tribe that has sovereign immunity.

But Azar, questioned during a Senate hearing, said that he shares concerns about any abuse of the legal system regarding patents. A group of senators have asked Allergan to produce documents related to the agreement with a Native American tribe, which shields the drug from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board. (Reporting by Caroline Humer; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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