Lawmakers Want NIH to Profit from Research
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and some members of Congress want NIH to receive reimbursement for some products that private firms develop based on the institute's research, Winston-Salem Journal reports. NIH spends billions of dollars annually on research and research grants, but the agency does not receive royalties on any drug or device developed as a result of that research. However, some lawmakers believe that NIH can "earn money without compromising its goals to improve public health." Last year, Wyden proposed an amendment that would require NIH technology grantees to repay the research center. This year, Wyden and other lawmakers have called on NIH to "evaluate and redesign its current financing system" in a report slated to be released this summer. Wyden said, "From my standpoint, having the NIH fund this important research is critical to developing cures and remedies for dreaded diseases. At the same time, it doesn't pass the smell test ... for what the public should get in return" (Dow Jones News/Winston-Salem Journal, 3/8).