Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lawmakers: CIRM Proposal for Affordable Access Not Good Enough

Thirteen California state lawmakers are calling on the California stem cell agency to tighten its proposed requirements for grants to business to ensure affordable access to state-financed therapies.

The lead authors on the letter are the influential chairs of the Health Committees in their respective chambers, Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, and Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, D-Los Angeles. They criticized the intellectual property policy to be considered by CIRM directors Wednesday for having a "a weak and vague standard that is unlikely to result in any meaningful access for the uninsured to new stem cell drugs and therapies."

In a letter to CIRM Chairman Robert Klein, they urged that any access plans require CIRM approval and that CIRM regulations spell out specific access standards.

The lawmakers also said that the mechanism for affordable pricing should not be linked to a state law that can be repealed, "leaving no pricing requirement whatsoever in place."

The full text of the Dymally-Kuehl letter is below.

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