The Biden administration said Wednesday it supports the limited waiver of intellectual property rules in the service of expanding vaccine distribution to low-income countries currently experiencing an epidemic.
But Burla, whose company produces one of the three vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States, said he believed “categorically” that the waiver proposal “would create more problems.”
“At the moment, the infrastructure is not a bottleneck for us to manufacture faster, the constraint is the scarcity of raw materials needed to produce our vaccine,” he said.
Burla said the Pfizer vaccine requires 280 different substances and ingredients sourced from 19 countries around the world.
Without intellectual property protection, he said, entities with much less experience with Pfizer manufacturing vaccines would start competing for the same ingredients.
He pointed out that, “At the present time, almost every gram of raw materials is shipped immediately to our manufacturing facilities and is immediately and reliably converted into vaccines that are immediately shipped all over the world.”
He predicted that the proposed concession “threatens to disrupt the flow of raw materials.”