Scheduling of Public Hearing Dates
This direction is addressed to Board Staff and to patentees whose medicines are, or become, the subject of a public hearing pursuant to section 83 of the Patent Act ("parties").
The Board makes a reasonable effort to schedule its public hearings on dates that accommodate the interests of parties to the proceedings. However, certain recent and ongoing hearings have been delayed to an unacceptable degree by the failure of parties to make their witnesses available in a reasonably timely manner and to fully utilize the hearing days that the Board has set aside for its public hearings.
The Board has a public interest mandate to conduct its hearings as expeditiously as the paramount need for fairness permits. This is especially important when the hearing concerns an allegation that a medicine is being sold at excessive prices at the time of the hearing.
Parties are advised that, while the Board will continue to attempt to consult with parties when practicable regarding the scheduling of its public hearings, parties are expected to retain counsel and witnesses who can make themselves available on the hearing days that are scheduled by the Board. Parties are also required to make full use of scheduled hearing days by having witnesses ready to testify throughout those days, standing-by where required in order to avoid delays or unutilized scheduled time.
Secretary of the Board