(TheConservativeTimes.org) – In an effort to cut down on the costs of drugs and medicines for the average American, the administration of President Joe Biden has asserted that the government has the right to seize the patents of certain high-priced medicines.
Sources for news outlet Politico say that the assertion is a result of a nine-month review of the government’s supposed “march-in rights” which in essence, ostensibly allow the government to break the patents of certain medications that were developed with the help of public funds. The breaking of patents would in turn supposedly give more people access to the drugs, which would become more affordable because of increased competition.
However, sources say that the government does not plan on a widespread implementation of march-in rights, nor will it go after individual drugs. Instead, federal agencies will be given a framework through which they will be able to determine which expensive medicines or other products – which were created with federal funding – the government should take action on. The U.S. Department of Commerce will be the agency to release the said framework, the sources added.
While the plan is in its early stages, it has already been met with opposition. According to Republican Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, not only does the government not have the legal basis to implement march-in rights, but seizing drug patents “would kill American health care innovation”. Senator Cassidy, who is also a doctor and is on the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, also called the initiative a “short-sighted decision”.
Former senators Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) and Bob Dole (R-Ks.), the authors of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, have also voiced their opposition to the Biden administration’s plan on the use of march-in rights, despite the legislation being what the government plans to use to implement march-in rights. Writing in a Washington Post Op-Ed, the two former senators said that their legislation does not have the intent to allow government to determine pricing on products that were developed using federal funding.
“The law makes no reference to a reasonable price that should be dictated by the government. This omission was intentional,” Bayh and Dole wrote.
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