The idea of lifting patents on vaccines against “Covid 19” is generally rejected by pharmaceutical companies. Even if their profits are not currently threatened, these companies fear that such a proposal will set a precedent that inhibits innovation. Pharmaceutical companies assert that patent protection is not the factor preventing vaccine production.
Giving recipes to countries in need without ingredients, safeguards and specialized labor, will not help people waiting for a vaccine, said Michel McCurry-Heath, lobby manager for organic biotechnology companies. Stephan Bancel, Chairman of Moderna, announced that mastering the messenger RNA technology that underpins Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna vaccines, buying machines, conducting clinical trials and starting large-scale manufacturing, does not happen in 6, 12 or 18 months. His company pledged in October not to sue other companies that might use their patents to produce vaccines against “Covid 19” as well. Production is also hampered by customs obstacles or a shortage of some components. Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca have pledged to sell it at cost. The patent filing will not affect it, especially in the coming months, says Ian Gendler of Value Line research.
Could the suggestion have a positive effect on the reputation of laboratories that are often criticized for high drug prices? It is uncertain, according to Faras Buhari, an economist who specializes in competition and health issues at the University of East Anglia in Britain, at this stage it will be under pressure from governments, and these companies will appear uncooperative.
Ron Cohen, head of the biotech company Accorda Terabiotics in New York, says that by supporting the temporary lifting of patents, “Joe Biden has taken a dangerous and slippery slope.” He wrote on Twitter: “What are the following patents on the list that will not be protected after registering this precedent?” He emphasized that cancer or Alzheimer’s diseases could also be considered global crises.
Experts confirm to France Press that the intellectual property system, as it is currently, is basically not threatened, but raising patents for the “Covid 19” vaccine represents a precedent for the coming health crises, Bukhari says. Pharmaceutical companies, whether supported by public funds or not, will not have any incentive. To invest in the next time there is an emergency.
And Damian Konover, a specialist in the pharmaceutical sector at Morningstar, believes that supporting the lifting of patents on vaccines against “Covid 19” is undoubtedly a theoretical issue for the Biden administration. The United States, which usually advocates for the preservation of intellectual property rights, faces pressure from developing countries condemning the slow distribution of vaccines around the world, while 45 percent of Americans received at least one dose. Bukhari notes that this injustice “has not yet been resolved.” For example, he says we have to determine where the obstacles are in production.
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