submitted 5 months ago by MicroWave to c/news

The Biden administration on Thursday asserted its authority to seize the patents of certain costly medications in a new push to slash high drug prices and promote more pharmaceutical competition.

The administration unveiled a framework outlining the factors federal agencies should consider in deciding whether to use a controversial policy, known as march-in rights, to break the patents of drugs that were developed with federal funds but are not widely accessible to the public. For the first time, officials can now factor in a medication’s price — a change that could have big implications for drugmakers depending on how the government uses the powers.

“When drug companies won’t sell taxpayer-funded drugs at reasonable prices, we will be prepared to allow other companies to provide those drugs for less,” White House National Economic Advisor Lael Brainard said during a call with reporters Wednesday.

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[-] paultimate14 257 points 5 months ago

I'm probably going to get downvoted for this, but the Biden administration has really exceeded my expectations.

[-] Brokkr 107 points 5 months ago

They do great work, but they don't market and promote their successes well enough. I would prefer a society that favors humility more and therefore appreciate this administration's style, but it seems that a lack of hubris is now considered a fault in the public eye, on both sides of the aisle.

[-] psychothumbs 69 points 5 months ago

I think that's more the media's fault than the administration's.

[-] frunch 39 points 5 months ago

American citizens slammed with lower drug and education costs

--there, now the media can run with it lol

[-] Broken_Monitor 8 points 5 months ago

SLAM! As an American I demand more slams! Slam everything! Slam Trump! Slam Biden! Slam medicare! Slam insurance policies! Slam portmanteaus! Slam Bidenomics! Slam Obama care!


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[-] EatYouWell 8 points 5 months ago

Good news doesn't get views.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 5 months ago

I would like an administration whose flamboyant about their successes so I know what to expect in my daily life when it comes to politics aka why I see more EVs (rebates funding and a federal charging grid), lower/higher prices on things (like Biden removing patents to create competition) and even insurrectionists going to jail (if we had a working justice system)!

[-] [email protected] 13 points 5 months ago

A big part of the problem is that so much of this is "basic human decency"

Like... people who commit violent insurrection are going to jail. That should not be a news story.

And the EV rebates and improved infrastructure were part of the big IRA (hee hee) bill that did get a lot of eyes. But stuff like futzing with patents actually will piss off a lot of voters who think they are one good day away from being the head of a pharmaceuticals empire (and then they can tell their manager at the Dairy Queen to suck it).

And then you have the problem of the base. Most of the Biden Admin threads inevitably include someone complaining that they haven't fixed student loan debt yet (although, a lot of progress was made on that like yesterday?). Because Democrats actually want things. I want a better social safety net and UBI experiments before it is too late (spoiler: it already is). Maybe you want all student loan debt to be erased. Jill over there wants... basic human rights (okay, I want that too).

But every time there is a win in one category, it just makes people angry THEY didn't get the win and we start getting the "Biden needs to earn my vote" stupidity.

[-] [email protected] 48 points 5 months ago

No, I feel the same way. It's just that they've also utterly sucked in some areas too. Regardless, you know I'm hella voting for him because wtf else am I gonna do? There's no choice in our political system so I'll do what I need to.

[-] [email protected] 32 points 5 months ago

It really annoys me when they Biden has done nothing.

Then they're all, "well I didn't hear about it"

I get that the media and even the Dems suck at showing people what they've accomplished, but that doesn't mean they've done nothing.

[-] [email protected] 19 points 5 months ago

It's that usual right-wing thing, where their opponent is simultaneously an idiot who does nothing, and also a scheming mastermind who's responsible for all the trouble in the world depending on which way the wind's blowing.

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[-] agent_flounder 30 points 5 months ago

No disagreements here. I am kind of shocked by this very non neolib behavior—the above as well as well as being the first sitting president to join the UAW picket line. I was a bit miffed about the train strike, though. But his administration lobbied the companies and got them their sick days they've been fighting for, for ages. Really didn't expect any of that.

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[-] [email protected] 25 points 5 months ago

Yeah he wasn't my first choice but I was fine voting for him and his administration has definitely beat expectations. Pretty nice what having capable people in your administration can do for your presidency. Not just scandal after scandal and departure after departure like the previous shitshow.

[-] [email protected] 17 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

I wish media would give credit to the organization leaders responsible for these types of moves rather than crediting a homogeneous "Biden administration." The fact is that the administration does deserve credit for employing a number of "progressive" (read: competent) administrators, but those departments compose a progressive wing of the administration that is not on par with some of the overall administration's more centrist leanings.

Personnel are policy, something that the Biden administration has proved again and again since the 2020 election. Biden himself is a kind of empty vessel into which different wings of the Democratic party pour their will, yielding a strange brew of appointments both great and terrible.

-- Cory Doctorow

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[-] silverbax 9 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Every time there's a bunch of commenters talking about how little they like Biden (or his administration) for 'not doing enough', I know:

  • that person almost certainly does not actually vote
  • that person does not pay attention to politics, they just repeat what they've seen on social media, which is their own echo chamber.

How do I know they don't vote? Because they are too lazy to even be up to date via Google on the political opinions they post - they certainly aren't going to bother to actually leave their house and vote.

That said, the Biden administration might do well to be more bombastic with their statements about their successes. I don't love the idea that the merit of a success would need to be 'sold', but you have the GOP screaming idiot things all over the media sphere every single day, and that has to be competed with.

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[-] Blackbeard 8 points 5 months ago

Amen to that. It's a shame the left doesn't have a shameless media ecosystem that can produce a 24/7 cacophony of propaganda to amplify this kind of stuff.

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[-] cybervseas 99 points 5 months ago

Drugmakers have argued that seizing the patent for a medication makes that treatment vulnerable to competition, which can reduce a company’s revenue and limit how much it can reinvest into drug development.

Or yknow, maybe spend a few billion less on marketing and TV commercials?

[-] Godnroc 45 points 5 months ago

There would be a good governmental oversight: drug companies may no longer advertise their products to the public. I don't think anyone has ever seen a drug commercial in a positive light; if the drug was effective and worked well you wouldn't need to advertise it.

[-] FlyingSquid 37 points 5 months ago

Drug commercials are illegal everywhere in the world except the U.S. and New Zealand.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 5 months ago

Moved from US to Canada and its honestly so nice not seeing or hearing ads for zoflam or whatever CONSTANTLY. You don't realize how much it's shoved in your face until it isn't anymore

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[-] whatwhatwhatwhat 31 points 5 months ago

limit how much it can reinvest into drug development.

Also, the taxpayers are the ones who funded the drug development in the first place!

[-] [email protected] 28 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

The commercials should be illegal to begin with. My partner is from the EU and when we were back in the US she was horrified by the amount of pharma marketing everywhere.

[-] [email protected] 15 points 5 months ago

It’s legitimately insane, every other commercial is for Pharma and every other next to that is for accident attorneys or a politician or like trumpy bear lmao

[-] [email protected] 27 points 5 months ago

Um, not to mention this is specifically regarding TAXPAYER FUNDED drugs. We paid for them and they're price gouging and preventing people from getting access to them. It's so incredibly wrong.

[-] [email protected] 14 points 5 months ago

Drugmakers have argued that seizing the patent for a medication makes that treatment vulnerable to competition, which can reduce a company’s revenue and limit how much it can reinvest into drug development.

I like how that's supposed to be a compelling argument against it, "But if we open it up to competition someone else will do it cheaper and better than us and we'll go out of business." Good! Fuck your company lol.

Also the taxpayers are funding the development, which is why the government can do this. If the public pays for it, they should be able to access it as far as I'm concerned.

[-] agent_flounder 14 points 5 months ago

So their argument is that they can't make enough money on their government subsidized drug development. Yeah ok, corpos, get fucked.

[-] cheese_greater 14 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

That would all be fine if they alone bore the cost for all that R&D. Clearly, thats not the case and they want to socialize the development and privatize the fruits of that development, in which case they are consequently invited to non-negotiably+kindly pound salt and go fuck themselves.

[-] NotMyOldRedditName 9 points 5 months ago

Maybe they could get more government funded money if they sold it at reasonable prices and kept coming out with new government funded drugs?

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[-] NABDad 75 points 5 months ago

I've often thought that this is a perfect situation in which to invoke Eminent Domain.

If the government can decide what my home is worth, and force me to sell it at that price so that they can sell it to a developer to tear down and build something else to sell to someone else, then why can't they decide what a patent is worth and force the patent holder to sell it at that price.

The patent holder should be compensated for whatever they paid to develop the technology. Obviously, if the patent is based on government funded research, then whatever the government already paid would be deducted from the value of the patent.

[-] [email protected] 28 points 5 months ago

And now you have one step closer to negotiated price government subsidised medicine. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

[-] [email protected] 8 points 5 months ago

If they are doing their R&D documentation correctly, the US tax code already allows for tax credits up to certain limits. In a lot of cases, it covers nearly 100% of qualified R&D coats.

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[-] RonnieB 58 points 5 months ago

More consumer protections please

[-] SatansMaggotyCumFart 11 points 5 months ago

But who are going to protect the poor CEOs?

[-] [email protected] 26 points 5 months ago
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[-] [email protected] 26 points 5 months ago

Good. I'm tired of being taken advantage of by a corporate oligarchy that endlessly enriches itself at our expense.

[-] [email protected] 17 points 5 months ago

why shouldn't we get what we pay for? not for a "reasonable price" out of some sense of "public private partnership". if the people bear the cost of development the people should own the product outright.

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[-] [email protected] 13 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

taxpayers have spent tens of billions of dollars to fund hundreds of drugs

That's actually not that much per drug - approximately 100 million, when the average drug costs over a billion to bring to market. I think the drug companies may have a point when they say

“The Administration is sending us back to a time when government research sat on a shelf, not benefitting anyone.”

On the other hand

The drugmakers charge more than $150,000 a year for Xtandi in the U.S. before insurance and other rebates, but charge a fraction of that price in other developed countries.

I don't think it's fair for Americans to subsidize the healthcare of equally wealthy people in other countries. There's a possible win-win situation in which the US government helps protect the interests of American drug companies abroad in exchange for lower domestic prices.

This is an interesting article.

[-] [email protected] 16 points 5 months ago

protect the interests of American drug companies abroad

That's a nice sentiment, but the drug companies are voluntarily selling internationally at lower prices. There's no "protecting the interests" drone strike we can make when the big pharma is doing the rate setting itself (negotiating, true, but still a voluntary choice). The proper fix would be to mandate that any drug that had any Federal research may not be sold in the US for more than in any other part of the world and that fee may not exceed (make up a number) 10x the production cost, with distribution not allowed to exceed 50% of the cost of the retail price of the medication and delivery not to exceed 125% of commercial shipping rates.

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[-] chitak166 12 points 5 months ago

This is a good thing.

Copyright and patent laws need to die.

Only an idiot thinks we wouldn't develop drugs without them.

[-] maryjayjay 11 points 5 months ago

Patents are written into the Constitution and are generally a good thing when enforced as they are written to be. The problem is the system has been so perverted and abused that it's a joke of what is supposed to be.

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[-] paddirn 8 points 5 months ago

Not sure if it applies here, but I remember reading something years ago about how more patents now are either "Product Patents" (mainly used in Developed countries) vs "Process Patents" (used more in Developing countries). A Product patent protects the end result, no matter how it gets made, whereas Process patents just protect the way that it's made and don't forbid anyone from making the end result, they just can't make it the same way.

Product patents almost seemed designed to stifle innovation, since it prevents anybody else from coming up with a more efficient method for creating the thing, whereas Process patents still allow for others to get into the market and come up with better/cheaper ways of making the thing.

It might be hard to protect Drugs though, since probably the bulk of the resources spent on it is going to be all that up-front research that needs to be done, then manufacturing it is probably trivial in alot of cases. Maybe there could be something done where all drugs that get Government-funding are available to anyone to produce, but anyone outside of the patent-holder that produces them must pay some sort of small "licensing fee" for the right to produce them (for X years), otherwise no one else is prevented from producing/selling the drugs. Just something that could help keep drug companies from going overboard with their insane pricing schemes, but still allows them to recoup the money they put into research.

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this post was submitted on 07 Dec 2023
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