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Research!America Statement on The Misuse of ‘March-in’

Research!America is deeply concerned that the Department of Commerce is pursuing a new framework that would require the National Institutes of Health and other research agencies to “march-in” on – in other words breach – federal-academic-industry technology transfer agreements if the federal government disagrees with the market price of end products enabled by those agreements. The notion, nowhere in federal law, that federal agencies should take this action stems from an interpretation of the landmark, bipartisan Bayh-Dole Act that both authors of the bill, the late Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN) and the late Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), soundly rejected. This misuse of the Bayh-Dole Act would undermine the technology transfer bridge that assures federal investment in noncommercial research translates into tangible advances for the American people.

Affordability should not be relegated to a sideline responsibility of federal research agencies, but rather it should be treated as a distinct priority that ensures fast-paced scientific, medical, and public health progress serves everyone. Misappropriating the Bayh-Dole Act to judge drug and other prices pits affordability and progress against one another, a tradeoff that would needlessly and dangerously compromise the wellbeing of patients, our nation’s contributions to societal progress, and U.S. leadership in the science and technology arena.

The Department of Commerce is requesting feedback on its framework. We urge patients and every research advocate to weigh in against the misinterpretation and misuse of the Bayh-Dole Act and for actions that honor the significance of affordability and – not or – progress.

Contact Taylarr Lopez, Director of Communications, at 571-482-2719 or tlopez@researchamerica.org with press inquiries.