Throughout its history, the United States has led the world in protecting intellectual property (IP)…
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Throughout its history, the United States has led the world in protecting intellectual property (IP) rights. On that foundation, we’ve also led the world in artistic, commercial and scientific innovation, particularly with lifesaving medicines and vaccines.

Yet patent rights are under increasing assault, with anti-patent activists charging pharmaceutical makers with "antitrust" violations for utilizing and building upon their patents for the greater good. Their rhetoric and false critiques under the guise of "antitrust" typically rely upon an array of misleading and pejorative labels, to the point where they take on a meaning that bears no resemblance to reality.

The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) and IPWatchdog, Inc., have partnered up to offer a free webinar conversation that…[more]

August 03, 2021 • 10:07 AM

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New CFIF Survey Shows Voters Want Bipartisan Agreement on Spending Bills, Oppose COVID-19 Patent Waivers and Reject Gov't Setting Prices for Health Care Print E-mail
Tuesday, June 08 2021

ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) today released key findings of a national survey measuring voters’ health care priorities as U.S. COVID-19 cases continue to decline and many in Congress propose health care-related offsets to President Biden’s major legislative packages and other new federal spending proposals.  

The survey, which was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for CFIF from May 13 – 19, measures voter priority trends as compared to a national survey conducted for CFIF in October 2020, as well as voter opinion on the role of government in health care and addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The survey shows that more than six in ten voters (62%) do not want new federal government spending bills, like President Biden’s Jobs and Family plans, passed without reaching a compromise with and getting bipartisan support from Republicans in Congress. When it comes to paying for new federal spending bills, overwhelming majorities (more than 75%) believe that using Medicare savings from lowering prescription drug costs or imposing a 95% tax on prescription medicines to pay for new spending programs, as some have proposed, is the wrong approach.

Regarding specific proposals to reduce prescription drug costs, voters by a nearly 2-1 margin (64% - 36%) and across party, support HR19, the House GOP’s bipartisan proposal, over HR3, which is favored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but has attracted concerns within her own party. 

A majority of voters across political parties also support licensing COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property (IP), rather than waiving it entirely, to boost the global supply of vaccines – sentiment that is at odds with the Biden Administration’s support of the TRIPS waiver proposal before the World Trade Organization. More than seven in ten voters are concerned that waiving COVID-19 vaccine IP could have significant negative implications on the safety and efficacy of supply.

Additional survey findings include:

  • The economy/jobs (37%) and COVID-19 (32%) continue to be the top two issues American voters want addressed, while prescription drug costs (5%) remains the least important of the issues tested. Looking specifically at health care, the most important issue for majorities of voters across party continues to be the cost of health insurance coverage (53%).

  • A large majority of voters across party lines continue to say the federal government should provide oversight and incentives to health care providers, prescription drug companies and health insurers (72%) rather than determining coverage and setting prices for health care services and prescription medicines (28%).  

  • Roughly eight in ten voters agree that countries should honor their trade agreements with the U.S. protecting U.S. IP (83%) and that the U.S. needs strong IP protections to encourage innovation (78%). 

“As our nation continues to lead the globe in the fight against COVID-19, and with the economy top of mind for most American voters, the message is clear - Congress should not support policies like HR3 that target the very industry driving our nation’s economic recovery to pay for unrelated government spending,” said CFIF President Jeffrey Mazzella. “Furthermore, this survey confirms that the American public does not want government setting prices for health care – whether it takes the form of certain provisions in HR3, so-called ‘negotiation’ or pegging U.S. prices to those of foreign countries, all variations of price controls. Instead, voters overwhelmingly support bipartisan solutions like HR19 that seek to lower health care costs across the board by increasing transparency, ensuring savings are passed on to seniors and investing money in the U.S. health infrastructure for vaccines and preparedness for future health pandemics.” 

“Americans clearly support our nation taking a greater role in boosting the global supply of critical COVID-19 vaccines, but they acknowledge that there is a right way and a wrong way to do that,” added Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs. “With most voters (78%) agreeing that the U.S. needs strong IP protections to encourage innovation, the right way is to support U.S. licensing of COVID-19 IP. The wrong way is by gutting the very industry that is pulling us out of this pandemic and forcing American innovators to hand over intellectual property that required years of investment in research to develop.”

To read the entire Key Findings Memo of the survey results, click here (PDF).  View the Executive Summary slide deck below.

Methodology:

Public Opinion Strategies conducted the national online survey among N=1,000 registered voters from May 13 - 19, 2021. The credibility interval for a survey of N=1,000 is +/-3.53%.

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