Bipartisan Group of Attorneys General Seeks to Expand Production of Antiviral Drug

  • A bipartisan group of 34 AGs, led by California AG Xavier Becerra and Louisiana AG Jeff Landry, sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”), the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) to take steps to increase supply and lower the cost of remdesivir, an antiviral drug manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc. (“Gilead”) and used to treat COVID-19.
  • In the letter, the AGs argue that the NIH and FDA should use their “march-in” rights under the Bayh-Dole Act to require Gilead to license the patent to a third party because remdesivir was developed with the help of federal funds. The AGs request that, if the agencies decline to use their march-in rights, those rights be assigned to the states.
  • The AGs further urge HHS to levy its legal authority under the Defense Production Act and the Executive Order of March 18, 2020, to require increased production of remdesivir to meet national needs in response to the COVID-19 crisis.