Alfred Engelberg, an Engelberg Foundation trustee, says U.S. taxpayers should not be forced to pay exorbitant prices on drugs discovered using federal funding.
Engelberg in a commentary published on Modern Healthcare says the pharmaceutical industry has for some time made less significant investments in drug discovery.
“Its pipeline depends on discoveries made in academic medical centers with federal funding,” he writes. “Under the Bayh-Dole Act, enacted in 1980, manufacturers acquire the exclusive rights to those drugs and are free to sell them at any price. That law no longer makes sense.”
Citing sales data provided by IQVIA U.S., Engelberg says pharmaceutical companies’ monopoly expirations wound up cutting back revenue by $65 billion over the past five years. The report found while total brand drug prescriptions fell by 29 percent, total revenue posted a 20 percent increase.
A report from the Government Accountability Office found a gap between drug development and research spending.
“Industry spending focused on drug development rather than earlier-stage research, whereas direct federal spending, such as through NIH grants, funded a greater amount of basic research,” the GAO stated.
To read Engelberg’s full write up on Modern Healthcare, click here.