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Consumer Group Wants Public to Share Profits From Federally Funded Stem Cell and Medical Research
Date:3/9/2009

ederal policies for public funding of scientific research should incorporate these four principles:

--When a discovery has been funded by the public, the public should share in any profits.

--If the public has paid for key discoveries, then government policies should guarantee affordable access to cures and treatments resulting from those discoveries.

--If the government has funded an invention, but the patent holder does not commercialize it, the government should be able to license the invention to someone who will.

--The results of all federally funded research should be available to all U.S. researchers for further research without a licensing fee. Once taxpayers pay to develop a technology, all researchers should have free access to it for further non-commercial research.

"When venture capitalists provide money to companies they require clearly spelled out conditions and expectations," said Simpson. "There is no reason it should be any different when taxpayers put their hard-earned dollars on the line to fund research."

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) was created by the voters of California under Proposition 71 to partially fill the void created when President Bush imposed the stem cell funding restrictions. Its $6 billion program makes it the world's largest funder of stem cell research.

Key elements of its Intellectual Property Policy regulations are provisions for a payback to the state. For example, if there is revenue to a research institution as the result of publicly funded research, 25 percent goes back to the state's general fund. The IP policy also has provisions to help ensure affordability and access by uninsured people to cures and treatments that were developed with public money.

Read Consumer Watchdog's letter here:

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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