The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Briggs (202) 224-5141

Senate Hearing on Ending HIV/AIDS Drug Monopolies


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, will hold a hearing Tuesday on the high costs of HIV/AIDS medicines and his legislation proposing a new model that would reward innovation through a prize system, rather than government-granted monopolies.

Sanders' legislation, S. 1138, would eliminate legal barriers to generic competition for HIV/AIDS drugs and reward innovation directly, through a $3 billion a year prize fund. It would unleash unprecedented advances in medical innovation in decades to come by also requiring that at least 5 percent of the prize money go to any individual, business or nonprofit organization that openly shared information, data, materials or technology that contributed in a positive way to the development of new drugs.

What: Hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging to discuss the cost of HIV/AIDS medicines and a new model for rewarding medical innovation.

When: 10 a.m. Tuesday May 15, 2012

Where: SD-430 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Expert witnesses will include:

Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University professor and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics; former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors and a chief economist for the World Bank; New York, N.Y.

Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School professor; founder of Creative Commons and the Stanford Center for Internet and Society; Cambridge, Mass.

James Love, director of Knowledge Ecology International; co-chair of Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue Intellectual Property Policy Committee; Washington, D.C.

Dr. Mohammed Akhter, director of the Washington, D.C. Department of Health; executive director of the American Public Health Association from 1997-2002, Washington, D.C.

Frank Oldham, Jr., president and CEO, National Association of People With AIDS, Washington, D.C.

Suerie Moon, research director and co-chair of the Forum on Global Governance for Health, Harvard Global Health Institute and Harvard School of Public Health; Cambridge, Mass.

United States Senator for Vermont

(202) 224-5141