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.