Webinar: Should We Patent a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Quashing the COVID-19 pandemic will require companies to manufacture billions of vaccines at an affordable price. Conventional wisdom says that the best way to do this requires easing up on patent restrictions. But Ken Shadlen argues that the most effective way to quickly mass-produce a COVID-19 vaccine may be to have “patent holders organize networks of licensees and manufacturers, letting them coordinate and manage global supply chains, like giant, vertically integrated firms.”
However, if drug prices aren’t kept under control, Bhaven Sampat warns, “COVID-19 treatments could end up being limited to those who can pay—or even bankrupting the health care system.” Taxpayer-funded research and government efforts have helped pharmaceutical companies develop vaccine candidates at unprecedented speed. But the debate over whether the government has any say over how much those drugs should cost has been raging for decades. The COVID-19 crisis may be pointing to a better way to translate government-funded science into affordable pharmaceuticals.
On Friday, September 11, at 12:00 PM ET, join Ken Shadlen and Bhaven Sampat for an in-depth discussion, moderated by Robert Cook-Deegan, on how best to guarantee access for the vaccine that will help end this crisis.