On February 6, 2024 PILMA submitted the following comment on the Negative Implicants of March-in Rights.
PILMA writes to express concern over the administration’s intention to use the Bayh-Dole Act to seize drug patents. PILMA is a coalition between unions in the building and construction trades and biopharmaceutical companies dedicated to creating union jobs and fostering innovation.
March-in is a grave overreach of federal authority and is in direct opposition to Bayh-Dole’s intended purpose. The Bayh-Dole Act was designed to foster the invention and development of products to encourage medical breakthroughs. March-in rights were only intended to be used if an invention was not brought to market within a reasonable time frame or when health and safety needs were not being reasonably met by a private company, such as in the event of shortages.
Using march-in rights to mandate drug prices would have a chilling effect on medical innovation which could spill into other sectors since innovators may be risking decades of research and billions of dollars with the chance of having their inventions appropriated.
In turn, implementing this policy would directly impact union construction jobs in the biopharmaceutical sector and potentially beyond. In addition to the economic impact, patients counting on continued collaboration between private and public sectors to discover and produce medicines to treat challenging diseases would be at a loss.
The member unions and companies of PILMA emphasize the unintended harmful effects utilizing march-in rights would have on the economy, future innovation, union construction jobs, and patient cures; and strongly encourage the administration against implementation.