Letter from 23 AIDS Organizations to DHHS Secretary Thompson, and Mark Rohrbaugh, Director of the the NIH's Office of Technology Transfer, Requesting Public Hearings on Essential Inventions' March-In Request

March 12, 2004

The Honorable Tommy Thompson
Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington D.C. 20201

Dr. Mark Rohrbaugh, Director
Office of Technology Transfer, Office of Intramural Research
National Institutes of Health
6011 Executive Blvd., Suite 325
Rockville, MD 20852

Dear Secretary Thompson and Dr. Rohrbaugh:

We request that you schedule a public hearing on the petition filed by Essential Inventions, Inc., to use the Bayh-Dole Act March-In authority to remedy Abbott’s abusive and unreasonable price increase on ritonavir (Norvir®).

A public hearing is necessary in this case because there are undoubtedly genuine disputes over the material facts in this case bearing on whether Norvir is being made available to the public on reasonable terms and whether health and safety of people with AIDS is being affected by the price increase. These are matters on which the AIDS affected community has particular knowledge and interests that should be invited into the deliberative process.

We believe that a public hearing in which witnesses can be brought to testify orally or submit written comments would provide the process most appropriate to the weight of the task before you. To ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services arrives at an informed and accurate determination, we urge you to invite full and open public comment, including from the AIDS affected community.


Lynda Dee

AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition
Drug Development Committee
111 N. Charles Street, Suite 500
Baltimore, MD 21201

Treatment Action Group (TAG), NYC
AIDS Action Baltimore
New Mexico AIDS InfoNet
AIDS Treatment Data Network, NYC
Tennessee AIDS Support Services, Inc.
Positive for Positives, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Test Positive Aware Network, Chicago
National Association for Victims of Transfusion-Acquired AIDS, Bethesda
Being Alive, Los Angeles
Program for Wellness Restoration (PoWeR), Houston, TX
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA-US)
Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), NYC
Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Seattle, WA
Cascade AIDS Project, Portland OR
Women-Alive, Los Angeles
NYC AIDS Housing Network
Michigan Positive Action Coalition
National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC)
Project Inform, San Francisco, CA

Return to: Essential Inventions Home -> Ritonavir Page