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Government and Industry Collaboration in AIDS Drug Development: Summary of a Workshop Held on May 6, 1994 CONCLUSION The federal government and the pharmaceutical industry are the nation 's major investors in HIV/AIDS research. Enhancing the collaboration between these vast research enterprises offers perhaps the best hope of accelerating the development of innovative HIV drugs and vaccines. Unfortunately, a number of events, both AIDS and non-AIDS related, in recent years have led to increasing tensions and the lack of trust in their relationship. Workshop participants highlighted a number of barriers that hamper research collaborations. The two most important ones are the role that the federal government has assumed in regulating prices for jointly developed products and the federal government's disposition of rights to intellectual property developed during collaborative research. These impediments are compounded by industry's overall concern about unpredictable shifts or variability in government policy regarding collaborations. Yet there is room for optimism. This is founded on the recognition that both NIH and the pharmaceutical industry are deeply committed to research directed toward developing better drugs and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of HIV infection. In addition, government and industry researchers acknowledge the importance of enhanced cooperation. With the urgent need for new scientific knowledge and understanding of HIV infection, both sectors are willing to join in developing mechanisms that promote effective research collaborations. The proposals discussed at the workshop will, it is hoped, set in motion efforts to foster government and industry collaboration. The proposals identify alternate approaches to NIH's pricing provisions and to its methods of assigning patent rights. They also touch on several operational barriers that inhibit timely research and highlight the need for both government and industry to extend themselves to become more trusting and reliable partners. Efforts to promote collaboration in HIV drug and vaccine development will, many scientists believe, lead to more innovative and effective therapeutic interventions.
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