PHOENIX — Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Danny Seiden released the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s release of a proposal that would make it easier for the government to misuse the “march-in” provision of the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to seize patent rights for innovative treatments and technologies.
“The proposal released by the Biden administration under the guise of lowering drug costs will do nothing of the sort, and is just the latest attempt by the federal government to misuse the Bayh-Dole Act to deceptively institute its harmful drug price controls.
“Under the longstanding law, the federal government has authority, under limited circumstances, to ‘march in’ and force businesses and universities to license their inventions to additional companies. But cost concerns from the pharmaceutical industry’s regular critics are not one of those allowable circumstances. This proposal is not only violation of the law, it is an assault on pharmaceutical innovation. If adopted, it will create a new avenue for the government to punish companies for bringing new products – including lifesaving treatments – successfully to market.
“The administration fails to recognize the real victims of its unprecedented drug pricing schemes: the entrepreneurs and startups who will be dissuaded from developing new inventions, and the patients who will lose out on lifechanging and potentially lifesaving pharmaceuticals due to fewer new drug developments and fewer clinical trials.
“We’ve seen this story play out in Europe, where government price controls have led to less R&D and less patient access to treatments over the last decade-plus. That our government is using their approach as a model instead of a cautionary tale is baffling, though sadly predictable.
“We all want lower prices, including for pharmaceuticals. But the Biden administration’s proposed plan will do nothing to reduce costs, and threatens to harm the very people it purports to want to help.”
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley: “The Biden administration’s conclusion that they have the authority to seize patents for certain medicines not only contradicts the law, it contradicts the conclusion of prior Republican and Democratic administrations. This move will result in fewer medical breakthroughs, ultimately hurting patients.” (source)
Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: “The law was meant to encourage cooperation among industry, research institutions and government to bring innovations to market. Mr. Biden’s patent grab will do the opposite,” and “Alas, the Biden Administration cares more about expanding government control over the private economy than accelerating life-saving treatments.” (source)
Citizens Against Government Waste: “The research and development of new drugs has already been stifled by the price controls in the Inflation Reduction Act. The arbitrary use of march-in rights will be another significant disincentive for new treatments and cures.” (source)
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