US HHS Nominee Becerra Treading Carefully On ‘March In’ Rights
Past support for so-called ‘march in’ rights is a red flag for biopharma innovators, but after two days of confirmation hearings, industry can be somewhat reassured.
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Prostate cancer patients press HHS for administrative hearing on march-in rights for patents covering Astellas’ Xtandi. While previous efforts have failed, petitioners believe they may have a shot this time around given Biden Administration and HHS Secretary Becerra’s views on the issue.
Confirmation hearing for successor will present opportunity to press the Biden administration on the patent march-in issue, but a policy change seems unlikely—unless the President feels a strong need to act on drug pricing in the absence of legislation.
With COVID-19 drawing new attention to the government’s investment in R&D and high drug prices, lower drug pricing advocates are optimistic the Biden team will a Trump-era attempt to carve out a medication’s price from patent breaking criteria. The drug industry isn’t just defending Trump’s plan – its trying to strengthen it.