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Many important people are asking the US President to do something about vaccination barely outside of richer countries | G7

A total of 175 former senior politicians – including Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Francois Hollande, former French President, and Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union – and many Nobel Prize winning scholars and artists have written letters to asking Joe Biden from The President of the United States Take “urgent action” to suspend intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines and increase the global vaccination rate, Financial times.


A temporary suspension of intellectual property rights was proposed last October by India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization (WTO) forum, and since then the proposal has had the support of 60 countries. This measure would allow developing countries to participate in mass production by making copies of vaccines developed by large pharmaceutical companies without the risk of litigation for violations of intellectual property rights.

As we wrote in more detail previously, there are currently large disparities in global vaccination coverage for individual countries: As shown in the figure below, vaccination coverage in the wealthiest regions of the world is much higher than that in lower income regions.

According to the signatories of the letter, the problem with this is not only the growth prospects of poorer economies, but also more immunized ones, which are at risk if the epidemic continues in some countries and, for example, the mutations against them develop unprotected. In advanced economies either.

According to the message, safe and effective vaccines have been developed at an unprecedented rate, largely from American public funding, and while they welcome the fact that vaccination programs in the United States and other rich countries provide hope for citizens, most parts of the world have this hope, and it seems far-fetched. Because of the new waves that threaten the global economy. “Due to an artificial shortage of global supplies, the US economy already risks losing $ 1.3 trillion in gross national product this year,” they wrote.

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US drug advocacy organizations have asked Bident not to comply with a request from developing countries to suspend intellectual property rights. They argued that the proposal from India and South Africa is not specific enough and allows for a very broad legal interpretation. The United States, along with the United Kingdom, the European Union and Switzerland, earlier indicated its opposition to suspending intellectual property rights for anti-Coronavirus products. The US foreign trade mission indicated in March that it was “trying to assess” the effects of such a measure for the time being.

Journey of the World Trade Organization*Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement – Trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. Under the agreement, developing countries still had, in principle, the right to manufacture generic versions of patented medicines and vaccines in case of emergency, but so far no country has exercised this right for fear of diplomatic repercussions. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who told the Financial Times, said that governments have spent huge sums of money on vaccine-based research, and that pharmaceutical companies have “already made a profit” (he might have thought here that if the pandemic ended, companies could start making Profitable sales).).

According to Stiglitz, it is also clear that if something similar happens again, governments will refinance development, as the cost of a few billion dollars in aid is negligible compared to the thousands of billions in losses from the pandemic.

The economist’s statements about state aid differed well from the study on which he was based The Guardian reportedIn this, several methodologies have been used to determine the amount of money flowing from public or private sources since the 2000s in the research supporting the development of a joint vaccine between the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

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On the one hand, they looked at the sponsors who had been identified in studies of vector vaccines using adenovirus, and the amount of support was estimated on this basis. On the other hand, Oxford University was asked to provide the amount and source of funding for grants from Sarah Gilbert and Adrian Hill, two leading researchers in the field of technology.

At the same time, the argument that Caleb Watney, an expert at the Progressive Policy Institute, who identifies himself as a party to the market, is cited in an opinion on the topic, may be invoked as an excuse for the private sector. In your blog post. According to Watney, while it is true that basic research is regularly funded by the state, products developed after scientific breakthroughs also need to be brought to market, which requires serious engineering, manufacturing and logistics performance, which also costs a lot of money.

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Watney also mentions, for example, the American Moderna PredictedHe will not be sued for violating intellectual property rights related to his vaccine and part of the “prescription” It was also announced. However, Watney said they did not initiate the mass production of versions of Moderna vaccine anywhere in the world because the company has not disclosed any information about the exact manufacturing and design processes.

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So Watney raises the idea of ​​a public acquisition of the full standard, under which manufacturers can disclose production and logistics details as well as a vaccine prescription. In return, governments can pay companies the amount of profits they expect from distributing vaccines. This will not lose the incentive for costly investments in the future, which would otherwise be profitable, Watney said, while developing countries also move closer to mass production of vaccines.

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