More March-In Whack-A-Mole

Another King-type amendment, offered this time by Rep. Marcy Kaptur at a House hearing regarding HHS, was rejected in committee. Marcy Kaptur has been our heroine in the patent wars. Her willingness to stand up to the Megatech has been courageous and is greatly appreciated.

But as reported by KEI itself, Committee Chair Tom Cole spoke against it.

“Opposition during the Committee’s debate came from Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), who urged a no vote on the amendment. Rep. Cole stated that while he appreciated the concern of Rep. Kaptur, he thought the amendment would run the risk of upsetting the relationship between the National Institutes of Health and private industry. Rep. Cole also stated that the amendment would be “complicated to implement, as there’s no way to measure to what extent a particularly federally funded study played in the discovery of a new drug.”  (KEI Report linked below.)

Tom Cole is correct. This time he prevailed, but KEI will persist. Its warped interpretation of Bayh Dole resulting in the B-D lethal price-based march in can be expected to pop-up repeatedly whack-a-mole fashion unless KEI is “marched-out” of Hill hearings by home state universities. They must act now by conducting a concerted effort to support NIH’s mission to promote commercialization of promising results of its funded basic research.  If price based march-in amendment can take hold anywhere on the Hill, universities who fail to voice their opposition will have only themselves to blame. KEI’s strategy is clear. They will persist. Each time the legally erroneous notion that availability triggers B-D march-in at a “reasonable price” rather than “available” in satisfactory quantity spreads to a new committee KEI attracts new converts to its misdirected legal interpretation of the march-in’s triggers.

There are two important points embedded in Rep Cole’s sound response. Continue reading More March-In Whack-A-Mole