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Posts Tagged: "Senator Angus King"

When Big Brother Comes Marching In: Patent Challenges on Entrepreneurial Campuses

Bayh-Dole has recently come under attack, as some are trying to highjack certain provisions to be used as a cost control measure for novel therapeutics as the cost of drugs skyrocket. Should the federal government actually march in on an exclusive license covering a federally funded technology, there will be rippling effects throughout many industries. Academic institutions would reassess the value in investing resources and energy in the commercialization process if they struggle to secure a licensee for their federally funded technologies. The biggest effect, however, will most likely be felt by the general public, as they will no longer benefit from the research their tax dollars have funded for decades, but will instead be on the hook for funding the development of once promising, but now languishing, inventions.

Bernie Sanders’ Really Bad Idea

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced legislation requiring every agency and non-profit entity to include a “reasonable pricing” provision based on King’s formula for any life science invention made with government support. Apparently the colossal failure of a similar requirement forced on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the 1990’s which led to the collapse of industry partnerships without any reduction in drug prices is either unknown, or made no impression on Sen. Sanders. Or perhaps like his trust in socialism, he thinks that what failed in the past will somehow work by some weird magic if trotted out again.

Proposal from Senator King Won’t Reduce Drug Prices, Just Innovation

Many were stunned to learn that Senator Angus King (I-ME) included language undermining the Bayh-Dole Act in the report of the Senate Armed Services Committee as it approved the National Defense Authorization Act. The the language “directs” the Department of Defense (DOD) to issue compulsory licenses under Bayh-Dole “whenever the price of a drug, vaccine, or other medical technology is higher in the U.S. than the median price charged in the seven largest economies that have a per capita income at least half the per capita income of the U.S.” The provision gives the Department no discretion— it must comply. Apparently no one bothered to check with DOD or anyone familiar with the law to discover that this language incorporates a long discredited theory of how Bayh-Dole operates, or of the significant damage it would do to the development of badly needed medicines and the U.S. economy. The bill is headed to the full Senate for consideration. So before that happens, let’s consider why this is such a bad idea.