Thursday, January 19, 2006

CCST IP Report Smacked for Short-changing State

The intellectual property recommendations of the California Council on Science and Technology concerning stem cell research would short change the state, according to a consumer advocacy group.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights of Santa Monica took issue with the council's final IP report and recommendations to follow what it called the "flawed" federal model. The release of the recommendations came only a few days before Monday's hearing by CIRM into who should benefit economically from inventions derived from state-funded research.

John Simpson, stem cell project director for the foundation, said:
"Too often the flawed federal rules only benefit drug and biotech companies underwriting their research, but providing no fair and easy access to the medical cures the public financed."

The foundation also said:
"A recent analysis of the effect of federal rules on the 50 top-selling drugs over a five-year period found that forty-five of them received millions of dollars of taxpayer money with virtually no payback to patients or taxpayers."
It continued:
"The Council acknowledges that there are other models for managing the discoveries -- so-called intellectual property (IP) -- that result from publicly-funded research. These include public domain for science, patent pooling and experimentation with licensing that would require access to drugs and cures at an affordable prices."

The council's final report has attracted little media attention. Reporter Laura Mecoy of The Sacramento Bee may have been the only reporter to note its issuance.

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