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NIH Open to Action on Drug Patent Licenses to Reduce Prices

March 16, 2016, 9:23 PM

The National Institutes of Health would be open to exercising its “march-in rights” to reduce high prices charged for drugs developed with taxpayer dollars, NIH Director Francis S. Collins said March 16 during a congressional hearing on the NIH budget.

The hearing addressed drug pricing and, specifically, whether the NIH would ever exercise its march-in rights.

Under the Bayh-Dole Act, the federal agency that funded research leading to an invention can “march in” and issue patent licenses on its own—thereby ignoring exclusivity rights—if “reasonable terms are not being met’’ on drug pricing and if the agency has the intellectual property ...