The Biden administration is currently conducting a government-wide review of the use of “march-in” authority under the Bayh-Dole Act. The bipartisan legislation passed in 1980 and created a framework in which research institutions receiving federal funds could patent their inventions and license them to private entities to bring these innovations to market. As part of Bayh-Dole, legislators created a march-in provision designed as a safeguard for the government in case good-faith efforts aren't being made to commercialize the research. Now, anti-IP proponents are pushing to use the provision to regulate drug prices.
Th Bayh-Dole partnership framework is working for American patients, delivering 200 new medicines and vaccines since passage. The bill’s authors have stated that the law intentionally omits reference to a “reasonable price that should be dictated by the government” because the purpose of Bayh-Dole is to incentivize innovation, not discourage it.
Misuse of march-in rights would chill innovation and undermine collaboration between the public and private sectors, which could return us to the pre-Bayh-Dole era where promising new technologies sat on the shelf benefitting no one. It is not the right solution for increasing competition or improving patient affordability.
Learn more from Jocelyn Ulrich, Deputy Vice President of Policy and Research, on how the misuse of march-in could restrict life-saving biopharmaceutical innovation.