Senators Criticize Biden Plan to Use March-In Rights to Lower Drug Costs

March 11, 2024

The ongoing efforts by the White House to make major dents in drug pricing brought heated criticism from Senate Republicans this week with President Biden’s reported interest in seizing taxpayer-funded drug patents through unused, decades-old legislation.

The lawmakers’ intervention follows the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) publication in the Federal Register last December of draft guidance on how — with drug pricing as a factor — agencies may exercise “march-in” rights to seize intellectual property related to research under the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. 

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined 16 GOP colleagues in a letter this week to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Monica Bertagnolli arguing Bayh-Dole does not allow march-in rights to acquire taxpayer-funded patented medicines due to price and make available cheaper, generic alternatives.  

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