WASHINGTON – Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) introduced legislation Wednesday that would provide incentives to private sector biotech and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate development of vaccines for the world’s most deadly infectious diseases.
"Every year millions of people die due to TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS," Pelosi said. "Vaccines are our best hope to bring these and other epidemics under control. But accelerated research efforts are needed if we are to develop these vaccines in the near future."
The bill, "The Vaccines for the New Millennium Act," would provide a 30 percent tax credit on qualified R&D expenditures on vaccines for malaria, TB, HIV and other diseases that kill one million or more people annually. The legislation is based on the existing Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, which has proven successful during the last 18 years in stimulating private sector R&D in other economic sectors.
The bill further creates incentives for private sector vaccine development through the creation of a purchase credit for sales of new vaccines. Under this credit, every dollar that a nonprofit, international organization, foreign government or other qualifying organization spends to buy a qualifying vaccine would be matched with a dollar of tax credits for the private sector. As a result, the market for new vaccines would be expanded and pharmaceutical companies would be more likely to sell new vaccines to developing countries.
"Vaccine development is crucial, yet there are significant disincentives for private sector research and development investment in vaccines for these infectious diseases," Pelosi said. "The legislation we are introducing will leverage private sector resources, and encourage the market to work more effectively to address the biggest public health opportunities."