Sen. Bernie Sanders has once again put pressure on drug companies, suggesting people living with cancer are being preyed upon by greedy interests.
On Monday, Sanders called for an investigation led by the Department of Health. suggestion Granting companies exclusive patent licenses for cancer treatments and methods created using public resources and potential conflicts of interest.
The sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause six types of cancer and most cervical cancers, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has announced. report. It can lie dormant for years or cause genital warts or worse. Last month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) proposed granting patents to Kingston, New Jersey-based Scarlett TCR for its T-cell therapy against HPV. The company is undergoing Phase I trials, and Phase II trials are scheduled to conclude in 2025.
There is there is no cure However, drug developers are investigating T-cell therapies (such as Scarlet TCR) to fight HPV and the cancers it causes. Sometimes they are genetically engineered. (CBD is has also been explored (as it may inhibit cervical cancer cells).
However, there is a problem. The patent proposal, the company’s relationship with a former government official, and other discrepancies were revealed in an Oct. 18 report. report by american outlook. The NIH has secretly applied to grant an “exclusive patent on an anti-cancer drug potentially worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars to an unnamed company where one of its former employees is an employee.” did. american outlook I will report.
Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Sanders called for an investigation of the patent proposal in Congress on October 23rd. letter to Christie Grimm, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HELP committee too announced Mr. Sander’s open letter of October 23rd.
Sanders suggested that the NIH is allowing companies to access life-saving cancer drugs.
“Not only have I given up the authority to ensure that the new drugs the NIH helps develop are reasonably priced, but I have given up my authority to actually grant exclusive licenses to drug companies that charge the American people. “I am increasingly alarmed that we have exceeded the highest prescription drug prices in the world,” Sanders wrote. “A particularly egregious example has recently come to my attention, and I believe it requires immediate attention.”
Sanders argued that the NIH should do more to lower the cost of drug treatments.
“It makes no sense to grant exclusivity to a treatment invented, manufactured, and tested by the NIH that is already in late-stage trials and that has the potential to enrich a former NIH employee who is a key government member. And there appears to be no need for ‘researchers of this treatment,”’ Sanders wrote. “Based on current law and the best interests of the U.S. taxpayers who paid for this cancer treatment, we believe that NIH should be It seems to make more sense to offer an exclusive license.” The NIH’s apparent abuse of the system for exclusive patent licensing of this cancer treatment is so egregious that it has been characterized as an “NIH-run get-rich-you-get-a-billionaire program.” . ”
“If accurate, it would be completely unacceptable,” Sanders wrote. The NIH should do everything within its power to lower the cost of exorbitant prescription drugs. They should not be allowed to monopolize promising taxpayer-funded treatments that can cost cancer patients hundreds of thousands of dollars, beyond their statutory authority. ”
american outlook The article pointed out that the NIH provides exclusive licenses for cancer treatments to companies that have no website or SEC filings and are staffed by former NIH employees.
Further promotion of ethical drug research
There is historical precedent for life-saving drugs and treatments that do not require patents. On January 23, 1923, the discoverers of insulin, Sir Frederick G. Banting, James B. Colip, and Charles Best, were granted U.S. patents for: Insulin and how it is used.They are All sold these patents to the University of Toronto for $1 each. “Insulin doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the world,” Banting said.
Although the situation has changed and the price of insulin has increased, New initiatives Three of the top pharmaceutical manufacturers are making insulin affordable again.
When the polio vaccine was found to be 90% effective, its discoverers weren’t in it for the money. On April 12, 1955, Edward R. Murrow asked Jonas Salk who owned the patent for his polio vaccine. “Well, I think the people,” Salk replied. “There are no patents. Could you please obtain a patent for the sun?? ”
Some of these values have been lost in today’s pharmaceutical industry.