Bicameral letter from 6 Senators and 6 members of the House to NIH

On March 28, 2016, six Senators and six members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to HHS Secretary Burwell and Director Collins at NIH, calling for an “open and transparent public hearing” to discuss the issues presented in the KEI/UACT request that HHS or NIH exercise their rights under the Bayh-Dole Act to break the patents on Xtandi, a $129,000/year federally-funded drug for metastatic prostate cancer that costs the United States 2-4x what other high income countries pay.

The letter notes that, “Price can be a clear barrier to access for consumers,” and goes on to state that, “The NIH has a powerful tool to hold drug companies accountable for barriers to access to drugs developed through support of US taxpayers, including price.”

From the Senate, the signatories include: Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

From the House, the signatories include: Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Peter Welch (D-VT), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rosa De Lauro (D-CT), and Mark Pocan (D-WI).