50+ US Congress Members Urge Reasonable Licensing Terms For Government-Funded Medical Patents11/01/2016 by Intellectual Property Watch 2 CommentsShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.By Jahan ‘Harry’ Taubman-Rezakhanlou for Intellectual Property WatchMore than 50 members of the United States Congress today sent a letter urging the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to exercise their legal authority to require medical patents that have emerged from government-funded medical research projects to be licensed on reasonable and affordable terms for public use.The letter [pdf], rooted in a growing public concern with the rising prices of prescription drugs, argued that failure to use this measure would drive an image that the American government funds projects with taxpayer money that allow profiteering from struggling patients and families rather than simply earning enough profit to provide for future research and the researchers’ own incomes.Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Democrat, Texas), who led the letter effort, said in a statement that “the Administration should use every tool it has to rein in the practice of pricing a drug at whatever the sick, suffering, or dying will pay.”If the current trend continues, the letter said, specialty drugs, including medication for cancer treatment, would account for over 30 percent of medical spending, despite only accounting for 2 percent of prescription drugs by 2020.The letter made clear that innovation in the medical field would not be threatened under this law since it would only penalize wrongdoing rather than individually restricting each licence. Federal agencies are given the authority related to government-funded intellectual property under “march-in rights” included in the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act.Letter signatories include: Reps. Bass, Becerra, Blumenauer, Cartwright, Chu, Cicilline, Clarke, Cleaver, Cohen, Conyers, Cummings, DeFazio, DeLauro, DeSaulnier, Doggett, Ellison, Farr, Fattah, Hahn, Hastings, Huffman, Garamendi, Al Green, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Kaptur, Lawrence, Lee, Lewis, Lujan Grisham, McDermott, Moore, Napolitano, Nadler, Nolan, Norton, O’Rourke, Pingree, Pocan, Rangel, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Schakowsky, Serrano, Scott, Slaughter, Takano, Bennie Thompson, Waters, Welch, and Yarmuth.Jahan ‘Harry’ Taubman-Rezakhanlou is an intern with Intellectual Property Watch.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"50+ US Congress Members Urge Reasonable Licensing Terms For Government-Funded Medical Patents" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.