White House Announces New Efforts to Target Prescription Drug Prices

On December 7, the Biden Administration announced new efforts intended to lower prescription drug costs. While the announcement includes broader initiatives, one component would allow invoking March-In rights under the Bayh-Dole Act to license the patent rights of drugs to other biopharmaceutical manufacturers when the price of the drug is deemed to be too high.

MichBio has grave concerns regarding the Biden Administration’s proposed framework on March-In rights, which is a departure from previous interpretations of the Bayh-Dole Act and would enact price controls that will stifle biopharmaceutical innovation, reduce competition, and harm patients’ health. Bayh-Dole has been central to the creation of new and more effective therapeutics by incentivizing basic discoveries and research in the form of technology licensing and has engendered a commercialization and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Michigan and nationally for decades.

It is imperative to preserve the value that the Bayh-Dole Act has generated, protect U.S. leadership in medical innovation from the severe consequences that a decline of patent incentives would create, and avoid discouraging vital public-private partnerships emanating from our world-class research universities that enable significant medical breakthroughs for patients.

MichBio continues to coordinate with our partners, including the Bayh-Dole Coalition, to convey why misusing this provision represents a fundamental misunderstanding of its purpose. Moreover, officials need to understand that pursuing such a a policy will have dire consequences on the ability of the U.S. life sciences to thrive.

The Bayh-Dole Coalition held a fireside chat to discuss the significance of these policy decisions last week – view the conversation. Additionally, here’s an excellent op-ed from leading experts and scholars of Bayh-Dole.

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