Elon Law professor among scholars pushing for executive action on drug prices

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren cited a letter from two dozen legal and public health experts, a group including Elon Law's David S. Levine, in her recent request to the Biden Administration to lower prescription drug prices for consumers.

Elon Law Professor David S. Levine

An Elon Law professor is among those whose work is supporting efforts by a United States senator to push the White House to lower prescription drug prices for millions of Americans.

Professor David S. Levine joined two dozen scholars from across the country who signed a letter that identifies legal tools already existing in federal law that they believe can be used by the Biden Administration to lower drug prices without congressional action: the “government patent power” written into United States code, and the Bayh-Dole Act’s “royalty free-license” and “march-in rights.”

Their effort was led by Professor Amy Kapczynski at Yale Law School, Dr. Aaron S. Kesselheim at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Christopher J. Morten at Columbia Law School.

The group shared their work with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, who used it in her own April 22 letter to the Biden Administration requesting immediate action on the issue.

“I have repeatedly called upon the Administration to use its executive powers to lower drug prices, as explicitly contemplated by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices,” Warren writes. “Consistent with these experts’ conclusions, I urge you to move swiftly to use your existing authorities to give sorely needed relief to the millions of Americans paying far too much for their prescription drugs.”

Levine joined the Elon Law faculty in 2009 and has developed an international reputation for his legal research into the areas of lawmaking, trade secrecy, and the ways in which corporations and governments use the law to control access to intellectual property.

An affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, Levine also was a fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy from 2014-2017. He is the founder and host of Stanford University’s KZSU-FM “Hearsay Culture,” an information policy, intellectual property law and technology talk show, and he co-authored the 2019 textbook “Information Law, Governance, and Cybersecurity.”

In recognition of his scholarly work, Levine was named the Jennings Professor and Emerging Scholar at Elon Law for 2017-2019.