NVAX Stock – Biden’s Vaccine IP Debacle – Fintech Zoom
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.