On Wednesday, July 22, 2015, the Senate Veterans Committee held a mark-up to consider several bills. During the mark-up, Senator Sanders offered an amendment, attached below, that would create a compulsory license mechanism in the Department of Veterans Affairs, for patents on medical inventions. (See amendment text below). The motivation for the amendment was a crisis in the VA involving access to drugs for the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Attached is the text of a letter sent by Senator Bernie Sanders to Robert A. McDonald, the Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, asking the Secretary “to use your authority as Secretary of Veterans Affairs to break the patents on Hepatitis C medications for the treatment of veterans suffering with the disease.”