Cyreenik Says

May 2021 issues

Covid-19 vaccine patent waver: a really bad idea

The Biden administration is following the lead of some activists at the WTO in recommending that patent protection be temporarily waved for Covid-19 vaccines. This is a really poor idea. It is bad because haste and big, fast R&D expenditures are always necessary when dealing with a surprise pandemic threat. The question management faces is why should lots of company resources be switched to this out-of-the-blue project? If a company can't make money on its extraordinary big expenditure, why is going to bother to spend the money? Instead the crisis will be a yawner to the company, "Ho-hum, let the government go through the motions and we will pick up later on what they produce." Or the management has to see substantial ESG-type benefits, and this insight has to come quickly.

In sum, this patent waver idea will discourage speedy responses to health threats, not encourage them. This makes it an idea that is defeating its whole purpose for being promoted in the first place.

Here is an Economist article on this:

o America wants to waive patent protection for vaccines.

These WSJ articles talk about this:

o Heard on the street -- A Global Operation Warp Speed Is Needed to Unlock World-Wide Vaccine Production

o U.S. Backs Waiver of Intellectual Property Protection for Covid-19 Vaccines

o opinion piece -- Biden’s Vaccine Patent Theft.

From the Warp Speed article, "It might do so if significant vaccine manufacturing capacity lying fallow, ready to be uncorked, already existed. But there are many other missing links, too."



-- The End --