[Ip-health] Congress asked to hold hearings on NIH failure to address abuses of government financed medical inventions

Claire Cassedy claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Tue Oct 8 08:49:29 PDT 2013

Dear All,

This morning KEI submitted a letter to Congressional leadership requesting
that Congress hold a hearing on the failure of NIH to exercise its
authority to protect the public from abuses in federally funded invention.
 The text of the letter is below.  It can also be accessed on our website
at http://keionline.org/node/1805.

Claire Cassedy

October 8, 2013

Dear Senators Reid and McConnell, Representatives Boehner and Pelosi,

We are writing to ask that Congress hold a hearing on the failure of the
NIH to exercise its authority to protect the public from abuses in
federally funded inventions.

Since the passage of the Bayh­Dole Act in 1980, the Department of Health
and Human Services (DHHS) has never granted a petition to “march-­in” to
permit third parties to use patents invented on federally funded research
in response to abuses of the patent rights.

We do not believe that any reasonable person would conclude that in 32
years, there have been no abuses of patent rights.

On October 25, 2012, the NIH was asked to grant a march-­in petition to
permit generic drug manufacturers to make copies of ritonavir, an NIH­
funded invention for an HIV/AIDS drug that is priced 4 to 10 times higher
in the United States than in any high­-income country.  The NIH has not
granted a hearing on this petition.

As leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, we urge you to
find a Committee or Subcommittee in the Congress that can provide oversight
of the NIH on the topic of protecting the public’s rights in federally
funded inventions.


Academics  (institution for identifying purposes only)
Peter S. Arno, Senior Fellow and Director, Health Policy Research,
Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts­ Amherst;
Distinguished Fellow, City University of New York Institute for Health
Equity, Lehman College
James Boyle, Professor of Law, Duke Law School
Michael Davis, Professor of Law, Cleveland State University
Sean Flynn, Associate Director, American University Washington College of
Law, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property
Mark McKenna, Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School

Non-­Governmental Organizations
Bryan Collinsworth, Executive Director, Universities Allied for Essential
Laura Etherton, Health Care Policy Analyst, U.S. PIRG
James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International
Peter Maybarduk, Director, Public Citizen Global Access to Medicines
Reshma Ramachandran, American Medical Students Association

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