Advocacy Groups Appeal to HHS to Claim Patents and Negotiate Lower Drug Prices

April 10, 2018

HHS should claim five patents on Serepta Therapeutics’ Exondys 51 (eteplirsen), a drug used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and use the patents as leverage to lower the drug’s price, said six advocacy groups in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The groups, including Patients for Affordable Drugs, Social Security Works and Health GAP, claimed the drug’s inventors violated the Bayh-Dole Act by not disclosing National Institutes of Health funding. The HHS could then use its ownership of the patents to obtain lower drug prices, the groups said.

The group said the federal government has, in the past, “asked recipients of federal grants and contracts to correct failures to disclose federal funding” but has not used its rights to claim patent titles and influence drug prices.

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