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April 01, 2022

Advocates Petition HHS to Act to Lower Drug Costs

On March 24, advocates with the goal of lowering drug prices petitioned the Secretary of HHS to increase access to affordable medications. The petition argues that HHS can act without Congressional approval through two avenues: march-in rights and government patent use authority. First, march-in rights allow the government to issue additional licenses on a private company’s drug patents if the government helped fund the research and development of the drug. Second, under federal law on government patent use, the government can authorize generic competition with a patent if it compensates the patent-holder.   A group calling itself the Bayh-Dole Coalition submitted a letter opposing the petition’s characterization of the federal government’s march-in authority under the Bayh-Doyle Act.