President #Obama could have lowered soaring drug prices — he didn’t

After last year’s election, Donald Trump declared his determination “to bring down drug prices.”

It’s worth asking: If Trump really wanted to bring down drug prices, could he?

Like President Obama before him, The answer, surprisingly, is yes.

“Yes, I would say that the government has cards to play,” said Peter Lee, a UC Davis law professor who specializes in patent issues. “But you can be sure the biopharmaceutical industry would be opposed to any such intervention in the marketplace.”

The general idea is that if a private-sector patent holder isn’t making good use of publicly funded research, perhaps by not bringing a product to market quickly enough, the government can kick-start competition by handing the patent to somebody else.

Some have argued that the “reasonable terms” provision, because of its vagueness, also could be used by federal officials to demand lower prices for insanely expensive prescription meds — which is basically what Trump promised to do before and after the election.

Source: LA Times

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