9 October 2019 - Democratic presidential candidates are threatening to take a drastic step that even the Obama administration rejected to lower drug prices without congressional approval.
The move involves invoking an obscure section of a 1980 law to break the patent on a drug when it is priced too high. The idea, known as "march-in rights," would allow the government to "march in" and break a patent to allow a cheaper version of a drug to be made by another company.
The move has long been controversial and the authority to use it has never been invoked before. But Democratic presidential candidates are increasingly embracing the idea and touting it as a concrete action they could take if they win the White House, given that it does not require congressional action.