Lawmakers To Seek More State Revenue from Stem Cell Products
Sens. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles) and George Runner (R-Lancaster) are preparing to introduce a measure requiring that the state receive a 5% share of lifetime revenue from commercial stem cell therapies that were developed using grants from the state's stem cell agency, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in December 2006 tentatively adopted a policy that would require grant recipients to pay the state a 1% share of a product's revenue, as well as nine times the amount of the grant.
The legislation also would require that uninsured California residents have "significant access" to treatments developed from the institute's grants.
CIRM currently requires companies to provide treatments to the state "consistent with industry standards," which Kuehl says could allow companies to overcharge. By contrast, the proposed bill would require that treatments purchased with public funds be set at federal Medicaid prices, which typically are discounted.
CIRM spokesperson Dale Carlson said the agency still is revising its policy governing the amount of revenue the state receives (Johnson, San Jose Mercury News, 2/23).
California voters in 2004 approved Proposition 71 to create CIRM and to provide $3 billion in taxpayer funding over 10 years for stem cell research. The funding primarily was intended to finance stem cell research, such as human embryonic stem cell research, for which federal funds are restricted.
The agency last week approved its first research grants, awarding 72 grants worth $45 million to 20 institutions statewide (California Healthline, 2/20).