|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Patents and Medicine and the thirsdd World
|This may well be a disastart for our economy in the long run. Billions
were spent developing this technology.
Opinion | Bidenís Vaccine Patent Theft
The Editorial Board
Updated May 5, 2021 7:46 pm ET
April 28, 2021, Moreno Valley, California, USA: Registered nurse
Angelica Medelez prepares doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the
Moreno Valley Mall in Moreno Valley on Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2021. (Credit
Image: ¬© Will Lester/Orange County Register via ZUMA Wire)
Photo: Will Lester/Zuma Press
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President Biden genuflected again to progressives on Wednesday by
endorsing an intellectual property waiver at the World Trade
Organization for Covid vaccines and therapies. This patent heist wonít
end well for the U.S. or the world.
South Africa and India have been pushing a resolution at the WTO that
would force pharmaceutical companies to hand over their Covid vaccine
and therapy IP to manufacturers in low-income countries. The waiver is
backed by some 100 other low-income countries, progressive groups and
more than 100 Democratic Congress Members.
Waiver proponents say breaking patent protections is necessary to expand
global access to vaccines. This is false. WTO rules already allow
low-income countries to force drug makers to license their patents
during emergencies, though they must negotiate some agreements with
developers. Liberals says this is slowing vaccine production.
Yet U.S. and European drug companies have already voluntarily entered
into dozens of licensing agreements with other manufacturers, many in
low-income countries, as they work to scale up production. Merck last
week announced licensing agreements with several Indian manufacturers to
produce its investigational antiviral drug.
But vaccine and drug makers first need to ensure their partners can
safely manufacture the complex biologic products. This takes time. So
does ramping up production of raw ingredients. Even so, global vaccine
production is accelerating. The U.S. has also committed $4 billion to
Covax, a World Health Organization initiative, which aims to distribute
two billion doses to lower- and middle-income countries by the end of
this year. Yet India, a global vaccine production powerhouse, recently
restricted exports to serve its own population.
European governments have opposed the waiver because they realize it
sets a terrible precedent. Once stolen, IP on breakthrough innovations
like Moderna and Pfizer -BioNTech mRNA vaccines canít be returned. So
why did Mr. Biden surrender?
Progressives are pounding the White House for supposedly hoarding
vaccine doses, though only a few months ago it was praised for ordering
more supply from Pfizer and Moderna. The White House recently agreed to
release 60 million of its contracted AstraZeneca doses, but only after
they receive FDA approval. Contracts with other manufacturers limit
exports to countries without liability protection for potential adverse
The Administrationís WTO waiver will break patents and legal protections
for vaccine makers. Investors will be less likely to fund new drug
research if they think their own government will betray them under
political pressure. Chalk up another damaging victory for the
Appeared in the May 6, 2021, print edition.
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