Should the COVID-19 Vaccine’s Intellectual Property Be Accessible for Everyone?

 

Key Words:

  • Intellectual property protection is important because you have rogue scientists and organizations who might try and do a knock off of the vaccine that isn’t the same quality, which could be dangerous because it isn’t as effective.
  • Pharmaceutical companies shouldn’t be making profit off of drugs that treat neglected diseases.
  • Accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine such as the inability to properly store the vaccine, is one of the biggest problems for certain parts of the world when it comes to vaccine distribution.

Commentary:

Although the COVID-19 vaccine is readily available, it isn’t necessarily available for everyone. Some countries across the globe do not have access to the vaccine partially because of intellectual property claims. Intellectual properties protect the patents of drugs like the COVID-19 vaccine, making it so that the information on how to make it, is only shared with a select group of people. Right now there is a battle over whether or not countries like the United States should share the IP of the COVID-19 vaccine. MarketScale reached out to Dr. Kishor Wasan about this topic and we asked his opinion on the World Trade Organization and TRIPS Council’s decision to lean so heavily on protecting IPs rather than what some may argue is looking out for the global good by making the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible.

Abridged Thoughts:

So intellectual property is partly there because yes, it’s there so they can make money and protect their invention. But at the same time, it’s also there so that, the product is protected, so that people don’t do rogue products and make a substandard version of it. That’s why this is actually a very controversial and tricky issue. It’s not that black and white. I mean, it’s not as simple as that. So you have to kind of keep those two things in mind. And again, it comes down to a balance between the two.

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