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PETER RHEINSTEIN: The wrong way to control drug prices

Monday, May 2, 2016   (0 Comments)
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The Washington Times | By Peter Rheinstein

April 19, 2016 - During my 25 years at the Food and Drug Administration, I had a front row seat for the evolution and modernization of pharmaceutical research. Now that I'm in the private sector, I'm discouraged to see political candidates bash drug companies for easy applause lines.

When policies affecting the development of new treatments are reduced to sound bites, the future of medical innovation is put in jeopardy. The debate over the federal government's so called "march-in" rights regarding prescription drugs is a perfect example of this danger.

Created under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, these rights enable the government to revoke intellectual property protections on certain medicines in the name of public health. A number of lawmakers are now seeking to use march-in rights to cut the price of prescription drugs.

While their goal might be popular with voters, the effort represents a blatant misuse of the Bayh-Dole Act and would undermine the very inventions the law was designed to promote.