[Ip-health] Ed Silverman: A proposal would limit prices on meds developed with Defense Department dollars

Kim Treanor kim.treanor at keionline.org
Fri Jul 7 06:13:40 PDT 2017

Ed Silverman, one of the journalists who frequently reports on disputes
involving access to medicine, has a report in Stat News on Senator King's
amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The article is
behind a paywall in Stat Plus.  The following are some excerpts from the


A proposal would limit prices on meds developed with Defense Department
Ed Silverman, @Pharmalot JULY 6, 2017


A U.S. senator is trying to lower prices for medicines that are discovered
with taxpayer dollars . . .


One example is the Xtandi prostate cancer drug  . . . The drug has an
average wholesale price in the U.S. of more than $129,000, about two to
four times more than what other high-income countries are paying . . .

. . . Medicare paid more than $790 million in 2015, up from $447 million in
2014, and the pricing led to high co-payments.

. . .

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army may offer an exclusive license for a Zika virus
vaccine to Sanofi. A growing number of lawmakers are concerned that a
vaccine would not be accessible or affordable for many Americans, since the
company would have monopoly rights through 2036.  Lawmakers want the Army
to offer a non-exclusive license after Sanofi rejected an Army request to
offer a pricing commitment.

. . .

. . . The amendment offered by King, which a spokeswoman explained will not
become available until next week, appears to be the first such effort to
tie Defense Department funding to prices of medicines that were developed
with taxpayer dollars.

. . . King’s office said “the provision directs the Department of Defense
to authorize third parties to use inventions that benefited from department
funding whenever the price of a drug, vaccine, or other medical technology
is higher in the U.S. than the median price charged in the seven largest
economies that have a per capita income at least half the per capita income
of the U.S.”

“Senator King’s amendment would protect U.S. residents from paying more
than everyone else for drugs based upon inventions when the Department of
Defense funded the R&D,” said Jamie Love of KEI. “To put it in very
non-technical terms, the bottom line is the government would break a
monopoly if a company was screwing Americans.”

. . .

.. . A spokeswoman for the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of
America, the industry trade group, wrote us that the amendment “ignores the
subsequent substantial R&D investments and risks undertaken by the private
sector in developing and bringing a new medicine to patients. This
amendment would undermine critical intellectual property rights and
incentives, create substantial uncertainty for companies, and establish
completely arbitrary criteria for taking intellectual property. This could
 chill critically needed collaborations and investment by the private
sector to address some of our most serious unmet medical needs.”

. . .


Kim Treanor
Knowledge Ecology International
kim.treanor at keionline.org
tel.: +1.202.332.2670

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