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NIH Director Removes Reasonable Pricing Clause From CRADA

NIH Director Removes Reasonable Pricing Clause From CRADA

BETHESDA--Harold Varmus, MD, Director of the NIH, has removed the "reasonable pricing" clause from the Public Health Service's model Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). Many believe that the clause has driven industry away from potentially beneficial collaboration with government scientists. "Eliminating [it] will promote research that can enhance the health of the American people," Dr. Varmus said.

Adopted in 1989 partly in response to the price of zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT), which many considered too high, reasonable pricing has been controversial ever since. In 1992, it came under Congressional scrutiny during development of paclitaxel (Taxol). Many in Congress and in the pharmaceutical industry maintained that use of the clause politicized and acted as a deterrent to collaborative public-private research, especially in cancer and AIDS.

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