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THE UNITED STATES' National Institutes of Health (NIH) has finally yielded to the French Institut Pasteur's persistent pleas that it receive a more generous proportion of the royalties from sales of the respective nations' antibody tests for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) than it has been receiving since the 1987 Reagan-Chirac agreement between the two countries (JAMA. 1987; 258:3482-3487).
At the annual meeting of the French and American AIDS Foundation (set up to administer the royalties from the blood tests), held last month on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md, its board of trustees adopted a resolution that redistributes the royalties. This will be done so that during the remainder of the lifetime of the patent, which expires in 2002, the French will end up with approximately the same amount as the Americans. If this resolution had failed approval, Pasteur's lawyers say they would have gone to court—a move they have
Marwick C. US, French AIDS Test Patent Rights Renegotiated. JAMA. 1994;272(6):420-422. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520060018007