S. 1801: Affordable Medications Act (116th Congress), calls for study of delinkage

On June 12, 2019, 15 US Senators introduced S.1801, a bill to make medicines more affordable. Among the provisions in the bill are a study of the feasibility of progressively delinking R&D costs from product prices.

    S. 1801: Affordable Medications Act

    Ms. Smith (for herself, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Udall, Mr. Brown, Ms. Warren, Mr. Sanders, Ms. Hassan, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Merkley, Mr. Reed, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Booker, Mr. Durbin, and Mrs. Gillibrand) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

    . . .


    (1)In general

    The Director of NIH shall seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a study to examine—

    (A)the use of innovation inducement reward funds and push financing mechanisms as ways to stimulate investments in biomedical research and development that de-links costs from product prices;

    (B)models of different possible means of de-linking research and development costs from drug prices, including the progressive replacement of the monopoly on new products with a combination of expanded research subsidies and new incentives from innovation inducement funds to stimulate the development of drugs, including drugs to treat bacterial infections, rare diseases, HIV/AIDS, and cancer;

    (C)the size of market entry rewards, open source dividends and other innovation inducement prizes that would be necessary to achieve innovation objectives and the relative cost effectiveness of incentives delinked from the prices of products and services in stimulating innovation, compared to time-limited monopolies; and

    (D)methods of progressively implementing policies that delink research and development funding from prices of products and services, including to the progressive reduction in the effective term of exclusive rights, accompanied by a progressive introduction and expansion of market entry rewards.

    (2)Authorization of appropriations

    For the purpose of carrying out this subsection, there are authorized to be appropriated, and there are appropriated, $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2020. Such funds shall remain available until expended.