Biden’s March-In ‘Rights’ Are Another Illegal Government Steal

Biden’s March-In ‘Rights’ Are Another Illegal Government Steal

The following content is sponsored by Frontiers of Freedom.

You know it’s a bad thing when the government threatens to use something synonymous with an invasion, but that’s where we are in America today.

To increase government control of prescription drugs, the Biden administration has been threatening to exercise “march-in rights” on them. This term comes from the Bayh-Dole Act, legislation that grants contractors ownership of inventions born from government-funded research.

Bayh-Dole has helped usher in the most explosively innovative period of human history, which has seen more miracle drugs and advanced technology than could have even been dreamed of by Sens. Birch Bayh and Bob Dole when they authored the law almost 45 years ago. It’s estimated to have spurred more than $1.3 trillion in U.S. economic growth and enabled the success of more than 11,000 startup companies from universities across America. If left alone, Bayh-Dole’s protections could enable even more amazing advancements in the next 45 years.

But true to form, the Biden administration isn’t leaving it alone.

Included in Bayh-Dole was a provision that allows the government to “march in” and steal patent rights if a patent holder “has commercialized the product, but the price or other terms at which the product is currently offered to the public are not reasonable,” particularly in the case of a national emergency.

Kudos to the two senators’ legislative aides at the time, because the phrasing of their legislation was so well written that it has successfully protected patent holders for almost half a century: no march-in petition has ever been granted. Moreover, Congress has never established guidelines of what constitutes an unreasonable price.

That’s a pretty good record for a bipartisan bill signed into law by President Carter in late 1980 to help correct 1970s inflation and economic malaise caused by Carter’s terrible policies. President Reagan was able to enact it, no doubt helping spur the economic boom of the 1980s. It’s no small irony that President Biden now wants to use the act’s march-in provision to make his own terrible policies even worse.

Notably, it’s predicted that march-in rights would have little or no impact on drug prices. That’s according to a recent study finding that “99% of the therapies in our cohort cannot be marched-in upon, as the key patents studied do not cover the entire asset’s intellectual property. There are only 5 out of 361 pharmaceutical products in which all available MoA (mechanism of action) and CoM (composition of matter) patents include a government interest statement and could be subject to march-in rights.”

So, this is less of an instance of the Democrats swooping in to save ordinary folks who can’t afford their medical expenses and more an instance of Democrats swooping in to expand government power. Again.

“Progressives” have long demanded that the federal government exert march-in rights to seize drug patents and impose price controls – just like Hugo Chavez did while he was destroying Venezuela.

Even if things here don’t get that bad, price controls themselves always are. If a government curtails a research organization’s financial incentives for developing a new technology, that organization will stop researching. Because medicine of all things takes so long to scrupulously research and develop before it can safely be released to market, pharmaceutical companies need legal protection to know that a return on investment is waiting for them on the other side of years of risk and hard work.

If it sounds ironic that progressives want to stop medical progress, that’s an indication of the kind of people we’re dealing with here. The bill (originally S. 414) had sailed unanimously through the Senate Judiciary Committee before later finally passing the Senate by unanimous consent. So, Delaware’s own Joe Biden – yes, he has been in Washington for 50 years – supported the original legislation during its entire time as a bill on Capitol Hill.

While reasonable Democrats at the time are to thank for Bayh-Dole, its implementation came under President Reagan. The once and future President Trump loves and protects freedom like Reagan did and doubtless wants to continue his legacy of protecting companies from the federal government swooping in and stealing their inventions.

Biden is once again demagoguing drug prices to manipulate people into supporting him and weaponizing government to help his reelection. But President Trump knows as we all know that freedom and a free market make America great. We need to protect innovators from the federal government marching in and stealing their work.

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[By: Frontiers of Freedom (Sponsored)

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