HOWARD DEAN, the former progressive champion, is calling on President Joe Biden to reject a special intellectual property waiver that would allow low-cost, generic coronavirus vaccines to be produced to meet the needs of low-income countries. Currently, a small number of companies hold the formulas for the Covid-19 vaccines, limiting distribution to many parts of the world.
“IP protections aren’t the cause of vaccination delays,” Dean claimed in a column for Barron’s last month. “Every drug manufacturing facility on the planet that’s capable of churning out Covid-19 shots is already doing so.”
“Creating a new medicine is a costly proposition,” wrote Dean. “Companies would never invest hundreds of millions in research and development if rivals could simply copy their drug formulas and create knockoffs.”
Dean’s claim that global vaccine manufacturing is already at capacity is patently false. Foreign firms have lined up to offer pharmaceutical plants to produce vaccines but have been forced to enter into lengthy negotiations under terms set by the intellectual property owners. The waiver, however, would allow generic drug producers to begin copying the vaccine without delay.
Read more at The Intercept.