Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Introduces Legislation to Fight Infectious Disease On World TB Day

Bill would provide Tax Credit for Research on Vaccines Targeted at the World's Most Deadly Diseases

March 24, 1999

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today introduced the Lifesaving Vaccine Technology Act, legislation that would provide a tax credit for research and development on vaccines for the world's most deadly infectious diseases. "Every year, TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS kill over seven million people," Pelosi said. "If Congress is going to provide tax credits, let us pass a credit that can accelerate the fight against infectious diseases at home and around the world."

The Lifesaving Vaccine Technology Act is cosponsored by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), ranking Democratic member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Companion legislation will soon be introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

"Vaccines are our best hope to control the epidemics of TB, malaria, and HIV/AIDS, yet there are significant disincentives for private sector research and development investment in vaccines for these infectious diseases," Pelosi said. "The legislation I am introducing today will leverage private sector resources, and encourage the market to work more effectively to address the biggest public health opportunities."

The Lifesaving Vaccine Technology Act would provide a 30% 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 credit would also apply to R&D costs for microbicides to prevent these diseases. Small companies could choose to pass a portion of the credit to equity investors who finance their R&D for one of the priority vaccines. Companies using the credit to produce a licenced vaccine would be obligated to establish a good-faith plan for global access to the vaccine.

The Lifesaving Vaccine Technology Act is supported by the American Public Health Association, the Global Health Council, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, and the Reproductive Health Technologies Project.

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