US sets policy to seize patents of government-funded drugs if price deemed too high

The Biden Administration on Thursday announced it is setting new policy that will allow it to seize patents for medicines developed with government funding if it believes their prices are too high.

The policy creates a roadmap for the government’s so-called march-in rights, which have never been used before. They would allow the government to grant additional licenses to third parties for products developed using federal funds if the original patent holder does not make them available to the public on reasonable terms.

Under the draft roadmap, seen by Reuters, the government will consider factors including whether only a narrow set of patients can afford the drug, and whether drugmakers are exploiting a health or safety issue by hiking prices.

“We’ll make it clear that when drug companies won’t sell taxpayer funded drugs at reasonable prices, we will be prepared to allow other companies to provide those drugs for less,” White House adviser Lael Brainard said on a press call.


I’m usually not in favor of government intervention/overreach, but it’s not like corporations are going to do anything in our favor, and many people need specific medication to, you know, be alive. So +1 for the federal government.

Conyak, (edited )

I’m a big fan of government intervention considering the festering shit hole of a country capitalism has created for us.


The government makes a lot of things worse when they get involved. I trust them as much as I trust corporations.

Also stop the hyperbole. I’m not one of your fellow communist. Though I’m on Lemmy so I don’t blame you if you assumed as much. America is one of the most well off countries, and the standard of living is far better than most countries. Not all, but most. It’s far from a “shit hole”.


Dude. Relax. He ain’t a communist. Get yourself out of the tribal mindset. Not everybody disagreeing or hyperbolically agreeing with you on social policies on Lemmy is a communist.


Good video and I will be sharing it in the future. And I’m also sure there is at least a little bit of that going on here.

However, the poster does have a point on how far left lemmy is. Additionally, the poster in question called the US a “festering shit hold of a country” and effectively blame capitalism for that. So the assumption seems pretty reasonable, even if I wouldn’t have made it myself.


Two obvious truths on Lemmy: almost everyone here is anti-capitalist/borderline communist, and almost everyone has a huge boner for Linux.


If the government funded the development, the government should own the patent or at least own a portion of it.

They should be paid for their investment and those funds use to fund other healthcare.

namelivia, (edited )

I was seeing Kitana from Mortal Kombat in the picture, am I the only one?

norbert avatar

Who is Why are they underwritten by a bunch of pharmaceutical companies? Why are the only two reasons listed essentially regulations?

You'll have to forgive my skepticism but I'm not sure how impartial that site is or what interest they actually have in curing diabetes. IS big pharma.


This is a huge step in the right direction… All these post docs funding their research with federal grants then when they discover/create a successful drug they price it as if they funded the research themselves.


Wait til you hear how the internet is funded.

Supervisor194, avatar

I will never understand why all the sheep who goddamn hate socialism so much defend it to their last breath when its corporations getting it so they can turn around and fuck the country sideways.


If we don’t save the corpos, how else will it trickle down to us?!


Because, one day, they might be the ones that can fuck people sideway and get filthy rich.


I bet he won't even have to use this power and prices will miraculously decline by themselves. During the energy crisis after Russia attacked Ukraine, our German power companies and oil refineries came under scrutiny as a (albeit badly drafted) government program to lower gas prices just didn't lower prices at all. Our energy secretary then made an announcement that the government was checking if they could get the anti-trust-agency involved for price hiking and split up some companies if need be. The next day, die to "some lucky events on the world oil markets" prices for oil started to go down. It was a miracle!

MicroWave, (edited ) avatar

I can see that. When California announced earlier this year that it would begin to make its own insulin and sell it for $30, companies suddenly began dropping their prices to $35 to match.…/california-contract-cheap-insulin-calrx


The vast majority of problems are caused by companies price gouging, from medicine to groceries. I just hope the threats are backed with action if they refuse to lower prices.

Jaysyn avatar



Insulin first please?


Being that he focused on Insulin being brought down to no more than $35 a month for medicaid, it is a high likelyhood that is one of the first drugs on the list.



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  • AngrilyEatingMuffins, (edited )
    AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

    No hyperbole. I got chatgpt to come up with a ballpark for how much it costs to produce America’s annual insulin use - 500 million to 750 million. Blackrock’s annual revenue was 17.87 billion last year. 5.18 billion in profit. So… yeah

    blanketswithsmallpox, (edited )

    That first line should be applied to so many things in this world.

    Food, education, health care, shelter.

    E: The only reason why anyone in this world now, all 8 billion of us, doesn’t have easy access to those if we want them, is because of the rich hoarding their wealth and their sway on politics.

    BraveSirZaphod avatar

    Insulin is a bit complicated. Older formulations of insulin are cheap at this point, but the newer formulations that are more convenient and easy to use are still patented and can be very expensive. There are also newer delivery mechanisms like pens that cost much more than the traditional vial and syringe.

    Medical pricing is an insane clusterfuck of imaginary numbers being shuffled around, but total insulin spending in 2022 was around $22 billion. The problem is much deeper than simply needing to raise taxes to throw even more money at the problem (and you're not going to find a simple $22 billion in taxes lying around anyway); you really need to address the core issue of why it's been getting so expensive in the first place, and that's a more complicated issue of corporate greed and regulatory failure. For one issue, it's extremely hard for a manufacturer to become properly licensed to produce insulin, so there's a huge wall any would-be competitors have to climb. Additionally, it is illegal to import it, so Americans are unable to buy insulin from other countries where it's produced much cheaper. Obviously big pharma loves that.


    more convenient and easy to use

    Let's be clear, just plain more effective at control. Old insulin allowed type 1 diabetics to become adults before they died young. New formulations let them live full lives. Similarly, insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics will also eventually kill them and only newer types of insulin are effective. It is a matter of life and death.


    PREACH. We’re not a poor nation. We deserve universal, national healthcare.


    This is good, they should do it when the mfg can’t keep up supply, also.

    Gradually_Adjusting, avatar

    Badass. Thanks Joe

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