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Opinion | Biden Decides to ‘March In’ on Drug Patents



Apparently not content with destroying the pharmaceutical industry slowly by phasing in price controls, the Biden administration plans to speed up the process. The administration proposed last week a policy framework that allows government agencies to “march in” if prices are too high, requiring a drug’s patent holder to license its invention to other companies. While the administration claims that seizing patents will promote competition and lower drug prices, it will do neither. It will stifle pharmaceutical innovation and harm Americans’ health.

March-in rights were created in a 1980 law sponsored by Sens. Birch Bayh and Bob Dole, which allowed universities, nonprofits and small businesses to retain ownership of patents for inventions discovered with the aid of federal funding. This ensured those inventions could be developed and made available to the public.

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