May 8, 2012

Senate HELP Committee to Hold Hearing on Prize Fund for HIV/AIDS Act

May 7, 2012 By Mike Palmedo


On May 15, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on S. 1138, the Prize Fund for HIV/AIDS Act. The bill, introduced a year ago by Sen. Sanders, would provide direct support to innovators while allowing immediate generic competition upon approval of new treatments for HIV/AIDS.

As explained in a fact sheet from Sanders’ office: “The Prize Fund would reward useful investments in R&D for new treatment and manufacturing processes, and would lower the overall costs of treatments for HIV/AIDS by allowing introduction of generic medicines for HIV/AIDS as soon as they enter the market. The Prize would be co-funded by the federal government and private health insurance programs at 0.0002 of the GDP of the United States, equaling more than $3 billion per year at current levels. Patents would still be available for HIV/AIDS inventions, and valuable in making claims against the Prize Fund, but could not be used to block generics entering the market. Generic competition among competitive suppliers is expected to lower the cost of drugs by more than $7 billion per year for the U.S. domestic market, with the saving shared by health insurers (both public and private) and patients.”

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