The AIDS Policy Research Center at UCSF's AIDS Research Institute issued to all 535 members of Congress today (Friday, May 11, 2001) a policy monograph detailing barriers to HIV vaccine development. The monograph also outlines possible actions that Congress could take to accelerate the development of a vaccine to prevent the spread of HIV.
"This monograph is the first time that someone has presented Congress with a comprehensive set of policy options for achieving an HIV vaccine. We have presented both direct funding options and market based incentives in order to take advantage of the strengths and to harness the energies of both the public and private sectors," said monograph co-author, Stephen F. Morin, PhD, associate adjunct professor of medicine and director of the AIDS Policy Research Center at UCSF's AIDS Research Institute.
The monograph details a series of "push" mechanisms which provide support for research and development and a series of "pull" mechanisms to create a market and provide the means to deliver a vaccine. Besides increased funding for public sector vaccine research projects, such as those being conducted by the National Institutes for Health and the Defense Department, "push" mechanisms include a targeted tax credit for the development of an HIV vaccine and offer biotech companies a refundable tax credit based on the amount of qualified research they are conducting.
"Pull" mechanisms proposed in the monograph include "purchase funds" or pre-commitments to buy which guarantee a market for a vaccine. Another "pull" mechanism discussed in the monograph is patent exchange, initially proposed by the late human rights advocate Jonathan Mann. Under this program, a pharmaceutical company that successfully licenses a vaccine for HIV would receive an extension of one year or longer on one of its existing patents.
"It is essential that access to current anti-HIV medications and prevention technology be greatly exp
Contact: Jeff Sheehy
University of California - San Francisco