Opinions and Editorials

May. 2, 2024

Real Clear Health: President Biden, Don’t Undo Your Innovation Legacy by Dana Colarulli

President Biden wants to lower drug prices. While that is a laudable goal, we can’t afford to undermine the intellectual property rights that helped produce these innovative drugs in the first place. A recent proposal would do just that, and it’s not limited to drugs. The proposed policy change would reinterpret a 1980 law that ushered in a new era of American innovation and collaboration between the public and private sector. But if this proposed policy change is finalized, it will cause a wide swathe of our high-tech sector to stall out. And, while in Congress, Biden was a passionate champion of this very law and the critical innovation it spurred.

Most Americans probably hadn’t heard of the Bayh-Dole Act until the White House announced the change last month. Before the law’s passage, if university researchers made a breakthrough on any project that had received public funds, the government took control of the patent. But federal agencies didn’t have the resources to develop all these discoveries into viable products, so the vast majority never made it beyond federal filing cabinets.

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