The Honorable Tommy Thompson
Department of Health and Human Services
Washington D.C. 20201
Dear Secretary Thompson:
We write to urge you to exercise your authority under the Bayh-Dole act
to hold a public hearing on the price of the glaucoma drug Latanoprost,
marketed be Pfizer under the trade name Xalatan.
Latanoprost was originally developed, in part, using approximately $4
million in federal grants from the National Eye Institute at the Natonal
Institutes of Health. However, despite the initial federal investment,
Pfizer markets the drug in the United States at a prohibitively
expensive price. A four to six week supply can cost a consumer as much
as $65 in the United States - two to five times more than in European
countries. As a result, millions of Americans are unable to afford to
take advantage of this revolutionary medicines, ironically, despite the
fact that the drug was developed in part using taxpayer funds.
We request that you convene a public hearing where witnesses can
testify, or submit information for the record, regarding the affect of
Pfizer's pricing practices on access to this important medication. If
you have any questions please contact me directly or have your staff
contact Kirsten Sloan of our Federal Affairs staff at (202) 434-3770.
Director of Advocacy