The intellectual property laws that grant pharmaceutical companies the exclusive rights to produce a particular medicine for a certain number of years are intended to reward investment and innovation into new medicines. These intellectual property rights are often abused and create monopolies, and in the case of the Covid-19 vaccine they threaten to limit the supply, causing deadly shortages and unnecessary delays.
A global pandemic is not the time to artificially ration the supply of a medicine because of failed ideas about the sanctity of intellectual property. Nor should the market be protected simply to serve the interests of pharmaceutical corporations.
Billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money have been poured into the development and production of a Covid-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca has received $1.2bn from the United States government alone, and at least £84m from the UK government. Nor is the company bearing the risks of this innovation alone: governments are already committing to purchase the vaccine in advance of its production.
Article submitted by, Great Gazoo.