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Biden Backs Waiving International Patent Protections For COVID-19 Vaccines

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by calurker, May 5, 2021.

  1. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    Jesus taught he didn't just give.
     
  2. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Jesus healed people for free, not for fee.
     
  3. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    This is a mistranslation -- Jesus was a heel.
     
  4. rockbox

    rockbox Contributing Member

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    I don't know about waiving IP rights. I'm a proponent of forced licensing with predetermined fees. Companies can use the IP for a fixed amount of money without the IP owner having a choice in the matter.
     
  5. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous
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    [​IMG]
     
  6. calurker

    calurker Contributing Member

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    I didn’t know eminent domain encompassed the needs of foreign countries.
     
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  7. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Houston Knicks fan
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    Dave Schuler at The Glittering Eye:

    http://theglitteringeye.com/goal-conflict/

    excerpt:

    I have mixed feelings. Unmentioned in the [WSJ] editorial is that U. S. companies don’t trust many companies in other countries with their intellectual property for good reason. Rampant intellectual property piracy. These things bear risks.

    But then again I think that U. S. intellectual property protections are too robust. Patents are not part of the natural order of things. They are government-granted monopolies. There’s a reason that so many developments are patented in the U. S. and it’s not just that we do so much R&D.

    However, the editors are right—it will have consequences.

    I have questions. Doesn’t a waiver of Pfizer and Moderna’s IP rights by executive order constitute a taking under U. S. law? Does President Biden even have the authority to do it?
    more at the link
     
  8. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Houston Knicks fan
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    here's the WSJ editorial

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/bidens-vaccine-ip-debacle-11620341686?mod=hp_opin_pos_1

    Biden’s Vaccine IP Debacle
    His patent heist is a blow to the Covid fight and U.S. biotech.

    By The Editorial Board
    May 6, 2021 6:54 pm ET

    We’ve already criticized President Biden’s bewildering decision Wednesday to endorse a patent waiver for Covid vaccines and therapies. But upon more reflection this may be the single worst presidential economic decision since Nixon’s wage-and-price controls.

    In one fell swoop he has destroyed tens of billions of dollars in U.S. intellectual property, set a destructive precedent that will reduce pharmaceutical investment, and surrendered America’s advantage in biotech, a key growth industry of the future. Handed an American triumph of innovation and a great soft-power opportunity, Mr. Biden throws it all away.

    ***
    India and South Africa have been pushing to suspend patents at the World Trade Organization for months. They claim that waiving IP protections for Covid vaccines and therapies is necessary to expand global access, but their motivation is patently self-interested.

    Both are large producers of generic drugs, though they have less expertise and capacity to make complex biologics like mRNA vaccines. They want to force Western pharmaceutical companies to hand over IP free of charge so they can produce and export vaccines and therapies for profit. Their strategy has been to shame Western leaders into surrendering with the help of Democrats in the U.S.

    But suspending IP isn’t necessary to expand supply and will impede safe vaccine production. The global vaccine supply is already increasing rapidly thanks to licensing agreements the vaccine makers have made with manufacturers around the world.

    Pfizer and BioNTech this week said they aimed to deliver three billion doses this year, up from last summer’s 1.2 billion estimate. Moderna increased its supply forecast for this year to between 800 million and a billion from 600 million. AstraZeneca says it has built a supply network with 25 manufacturing organizations in 15 countries to produce three billion doses this year.

    AstraZeneca and Novavax have leaned heavily on manufacturers in India to produce billions of doses reserved for lower-income countries. But India has restricted vaccine exports to supply its own population. IP simply isn’t restraining vaccine production.

    Busting patents also won’t speed up production, since it would take months for these countries to set up new facilities. Competition will increase for scarce ingredients, and less efficient manufacturers with little expertise would make it harder for licensed partners to produce vaccines.

    There’s also the problem of safety. Johnson & Johnson has experienced quality problems at an Emergent plant making its vaccines, and that’s in Baltimore. Imagine the potential problems with unlicensed producers in, say, Malaysia or Brazil. If vaccines made there have complications, confidence in licensed vaccines could plummet too. And who would Pfizer and Moderna sue to get their reputations back?

    The economic self-damage is also hard to fathom. The U.S. currently has a competitive advantage in biotech and biologics manufacturing, which could be a growing export industry. Waiving IP protections for Covid vaccines and medicines will give away America’s crown pharmaceutical jewels and make the U.S. and world more reliant on India and China for pharmaceuticals.

    Moderna has been working on mRNA vaccines for a decade. Covid represents its first success. Ditto for Novavax, which has been at it for three decades. Small biotech companies in the U.S. have been studying how to create vaccines using nasal sprays, pills and patches.

    Thanks to Mr. Biden, all this could become the property of foreign governments. Licensing agreements allow developers to share their IP while maintaining quality control. Breaking patents and forcing tech transfers will enable China and low-income countries to manufacture U.S. biotech products on their own.

    China’s current crop of vaccines are far less effective than those in the West, but soon Beijing might be able to purvey Pfizer knock-offs. The U.S. has spent years deploring China’s theft of American IP, and now the Biden Administration may voluntarily let China could reap profits from decades of American innovation.

    ***
    Instead of handing over American IP to the world, Mr. Biden could negotiate bilateral vaccine agreements and export excess U.S. supply. If Mr. Biden wants to increase global supply safely, the U.S. could spend more to help the companies produce more for export. Then the jobs would go to Americans. We thought this was the point of the production deal Mr. Biden negotiated between J&J and Merck.

    Alas, this President seems to be paying more attention these days to Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi. They think vaccines and new drugs can be conjured by government as a public good with no incentive for risk-taking or profit. This really is destructive socialism.

    Mr. Biden ought to listen to Angela Merkel. Pfizer’s partner BioNTech is a German firm, and the German Chancellor said Thursday that she opposes the WTO heist: “The protection of intellectual property is a source of innovation and it must remain so in the future.”

    At least IP is safe in Germany. Mr. Biden has sent a signal around the world that nobody’s intellectual property is safe in America.

    Appeared in the May 7, 2021, print edition.


     
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  9. Andre0087

    Andre0087 Member

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    Just because this administration "supports" something doesn't mean it'll happen. In regards to this I believe all of western nations are against it so it's pretty much DOA...and 100% agree with that. Do we want to just give other countries like China and Russia new IP when we already have enough problems protecting it in the first place?
     
  10. dachuda86

    dachuda86 Member

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  11. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Houston Knicks fan
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    https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/05/ip-is-not-the-constraint.html


    Patents are Not the Problem!
    by Alex Tabarrok May 6, 2021 at 7:22 am

    For the last year and a half I have been shouting from the rooftops, “invest in capacity, build more factories, shore up the supply lines, spend billions to save trillions.” Fortunately, some boffins in the Biden administration have found a better way, “the US supports the waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines to help end the pandemic.”

    Waive IP protections. So simple. Why didn’t I think of that???

    Patents are not the problem. All of the vaccine manufacturers are trying to increase supply as quickly as possible. Billions of doses are being produced–more than ever before in the history of the world. Licenses are widely available. AstraZeneca have licensed their vaccine for production with manufactures around the world, including in India, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, China and South Africa. J&J’s vaccine has been licensed for production by multiple firms in the United States as well as with firms in Spain, South Africa and France. Sputnik has been licensed for production by firms in India, China, South Korea, Brazil and pending EMA approval with firms in Germany and France. Sinopharm has been licensed in the UAE, Egypt and Bangladesh. Novavax has licensed its vaccine for production in South Korea, India, and Japan and it is desperate to find other licensees but technology transfer isn’t easy and there are limited supplies of raw materials:

    Virtually overnight, [Novavax] set up a network of outside manufacturers more ambitious than one outside executive said he’s ever seen, but they struggled at times to transfer their technology there amid pandemic travel restrictions. They were kicked out of one factory by the same government that’s bankrolled their effort. Competing with larger competitors, they’ve found themselves short on raw materials as diverse as Chilean tree bark and bioreactor bags. They signed a deal with India’s Serum Institute to produce many of their COVAX doses but now face the realistic chance that even when Serum gets to full capacity — and they are behind — India’s government, dealing with the world’s worst active outbreak, won’t let the shots leave the country.
    Plastic bags are a bigger bottleneck than patents. The US embargo on vaccine supplies to India was precisely that the Biden administration used the DPA to prioritize things like bioreactor bags and filters to US suppliers and that meant that India’s Serum Institute was having trouble getting its production lines ready for Novavax. CureVac, another potential mRNA vaccine, is also finding it difficult to find supplies due to US restrictions (which means supplies are short everywhere). As Derek Lowe said:

    Abolishing patents will not provide more shaker bags or more Chilean tree bark, nor provide more of the key filtration materials needed for production. These processes have a lot of potential choke points and rate-limiting steps in them, and there is no wand that will wave that complexity away.
    Technology transfer has been difficult for AstraZeneca–which is one reason they have had production difficulties–and their vaccine uses relatively well understood technology. The mRNA technology is new and has never before been used to produce at scale. Pfizer and Moderna had to build factories and distribution systems from scratch. There are no mRNA factories idling on the sidelines. If there were, Moderna or Pfizer would be happy to license since they are producing in their own factories 24 hours a day, seven days a week (monopolies restrict supply, remember?). Why do you think China hasn’t yet produced an mRNA vaccine? Hint: it isn’t fear about violating IP. Moreover, even Moderna and Pfizer don’t yet fully understand their production technology, they are learning by doing every single day. Moderna has said that they won’t enforce their patents during the pandemic but no one has stepped up to produce because no one else can.

    The US trade representative’s announcement is virtue signaling to the anti-market left and will do little to nothing to increase supply.

    What can we do to increase supply? Sorry, there is no quick and cheap solution. We must spend. Trump’s Operation Warp Speed spent on the order of $15 billion. If we want more, we need to spend more and on similar scale. The Biden administration paid $269 million to Merck to retool its factories to make the J&J vaccine. That was a good start. We could also offer Pfizer and Moderna say $100 a dose to produce in excess of their current production and maybe with those resources there is more they could do. South Africa and India and every other country in the world should offer the same (India hasn’t even approved the Pfizer vaccine and they are complaining about IP!??) We should ease up on the DPA and invest more in the supply chain–let’s get CureVac and the Serum Institute what they need. We should work like hell to find a substitute for Chilean tree bark. See my piece in Science co-authored with Michael Kremer et. al. for more ideas. (Note also that these ideas are better at dealing with current supply constraints and they also increase the incentive to produce future vaccines, unlike shortsighted patent abrogation.)

    Bottom line is that producing more takes real resources not waving magic patent wands.

    You may have gathered that I am angry. I am indeed angry that the people in power think they can solve real problems on the cheap and at someone else’s expense. This is not serious. I am also angry that they are sending the wrong message about business, profits and capitalism. So let me end on positive note. Like the Apollo program and Dunkirk, the creation of the mRNA vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna should be lauded with Nobel prizes and major movies. Churchill called the rescue at Dunkirk a “miracle of deliverance,” well the miracle of Moderna will rescue many more. Not only was a vaccine designed in under a year, an entirely new production process was set up to produce billions of doses to rescue the world. The creation of the mRNA vaccines was a triumph of science, logistics, and management and it was done at a speed that I had thought possible only for past generations.

    I am grateful that greatness is still within our civilization’s grasp.

    Addendum: Lest I be accused of being reflexively pro-patent, do recall the Tabarrok curve.​
     
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  12. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

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    The thing that worries me is the future. As someone that has a family member with MS, I watch the medical research news with interest. Pfizer announced a breakthrough and big investment in leveraging the mRNA technology from the vaccines to move towards a potential MS and ALS vaccine using the same technology.

    If that IP is suddenly available to every competitor, do they even bother anymore? Does anyone? Instead of getting a potential game changing treatment in 5-10 years...is it now 20? 30?
     
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  13. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Pay tucker
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    How you kill innovation, the far left style. Yea let’s turn everything into the DPS office or VA because they function so well
     
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  14. subtomic

    subtomic Contributing Member

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    The reality is that China is going to allow third-world countries to manufacture vaccines using China's "formulas" (for lack of a better word). They will then use that (sooner or later) as leverage for mineral rights, economic agreements and other actions that boost their global influence.

    We can protect the IP of the Western company vaccines, but at a price of global influence.
     
  15. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    He’s out Chinaing China
    Might as well get fake air Jordans with that fake vaccine
     
  16. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost clean your room bucko
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    I love this dude and even though he is correct he is creating a no win situation. If you're going to be cynical about every possible motive, you're just going to make future wins harder.
     
  17. subtomic

    subtomic Contributing Member

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    I don’t know if he’s cynical in that video so much as he’s providing context for the actual reason for why it’s a good idea to share the vaccine IP.
     
  18. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost clean your room bucko
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    If altruism is column A and self interest is column B he is pushing everything 100% into column B for all circumstances.

    That creates a toxic damned if you do damned if you don't scenario where no matter what you do people will just **** on it.
     
  19. txtony

    txtony Member

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    Advocate of the wavier point out that this is step 1. Step 2 - transfer of know how. Step 3- build up manuf capabilities, or something like that

    Hummm... someone need to explain how #2 happen when the know-how is being deincentivized and why are these billions dollar companies not already doing everything they can to profit handsomely by partnering / building new capabilities to produce these vaccines that everyone desperately wants now.
     
  20. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    Companies should have IP on their vaccines, but if they are also gov't funded or based on gov't research, then the gov'ts that funded it should have the ability to buy the vaccines at a competitive price and the companies should make the vaccines very affordable to those who do not have insurance.
     
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