White House Science Advisor Shuffle Could Affect ARPA-H – And ‘March In’ Debate
Former NIH Director Francis Collins is returning to government as the top scientific advisor to President Biden. The post is temporary but comes at a critical time for the attempt to launch a new health innovation agency – and maybe for the direction of administrative pricing actions.
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Proposed Advanced Research Project Agency for Health also needs to distinguish itself from NCATS, which faced many of the same questions when it was created a decade ago. Disagreements also persist about whether ARPA-H should be housed in NIH or HHS.
Prostate cancer patients press HHS for administrative hearing on march-in rights for patents covering Astellas’ Xtandi. While previous efforts have failed, petitioners believe they may have a shot this time around given Biden Administration and HHS Secretary Becerra’s views on the issue.
Confirmation hearing for successor will present opportunity to press the Biden administration on the patent march-in issue, but a policy change seems unlikely—unless the President feels a strong need to act on drug pricing in the absence of legislation.