New Proposed Federal Guidelines Could Threaten Innovation

Recently proposed guidance to federal agencies that potentially expand the application of “march-in rights” under the Bayh-Dole Act could significantly impact the development of new products based on inventions resulting from federally funded research. In a WHYY PBS by NPR story, John Swartley, PhD, MBA, Chief Innovation Officer at Penn, cautions against the use of expanded march-in rights to lower drug costs, highlighting concerns about discouraging private sector investment and hindering new product developments based on technologies developed by researchers at institutions such as Penn.  

“It’ll discourage the private sector from wanting to invest,” said Swartley in the article. “The overarching goal of making sure patients are able to afford and access the health care they need is 100% in our mission, and we’re completely supportive of that. But using march-in rights for this particular purpose to reduce the cost of therapeutic drugs simply won’t work. And it will negatively affect industrial partner interest in not just drugs, but potentially any discovery that’s made using federal funds.” 

As discussions continue to unfold, Penn and many other public and private sector stakeholders are emphasizing the importance of balancing innovation incentives with ensuring fair access to life-saving medications for all. Read more here:

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