Advocates for Bayh-Dole make a great deal over the number of drugs that involve university patents that have been approved since the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act. One of their measures is the number of drugs that have been developed. But there’s a catch–not only are many of the drugs outrageously priced, but the sad fact is, many of those high-priced drugs don’t actually provide much benefit in exchange for the suffering they cause. Let’s have a look-see.
$1.3 trillion in economic output. Support for roughly 4.2 million jobs. The creation of more than 11,000 start-up companies. More than 200 new drugs and vaccines. This is the legacy of the Bayh-Dole Act, which for more than 35 years has empowered universities, small businesses and non-profit institutions to take ownership of innovations discovered through basic federally-funded research.
Here is Joe Allen, the Al Gore of Bayh-Dolism:
The successful integration of public research institutions into the economy is based on the Bayh-Dole Act, which inserted the incentives of patent ownership into the government R&D system. Not a single new drug had been developed from NIH funded research under the patent destroying policies preceding Bayh-Dole.
These folks don’t even attempt to show which of these drugs actually involved subject inventions–inventions made with federal support and thus subject to the standard patent rights clauses authorized by Bayh-Dole. Instead, we are to believe by association–that the number of new drugs that involve university inventions is somehow an indication of the success of the Bayh-Dole Act, and we should accept then most everything else that has been done in the name of Bayh-Dole without question–compulsory ownership policies at universities, refusal of universities to comply with the standard patent rights clause, indifference at key federal agencies to enforcing the standard patent rights clause or practicing the inventions licensed to the government. Continue reading