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Hearing Discusses Legislation to Lower the Cost of HIV/AIDS Drugs

Washington, DC
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) chairs a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging to discuss the cost of HIV/AIDS drugs and the Prize Fund alternative.

Chairman Sanders has introduced a bill that would offer an annual $3 billion prize for HIV/AIDS drug research and allow drug companies to make generic versions of AIDS/HIV drugs earlier.

Sanders' legislation, S. 1138, proposes rewarding those who develop the drugs directly through a Donor Innovation Prize Fund, rather than through exclusive rights to sell the new drugs they develop. 

In addition, at least 5 percent of the prize money would go to any individual, business or organization that openly shared information and contributed to the development of new drugs.

Nobel-laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig and other scholars and public health officials testified.

Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 12:12pm (ET)

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