29 de gener 2021

A plea for public patents on COVID prevention and treatment

 Funding of Pharmaceutical Innovation During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Extensive public investments also are being made in therapeutics. The 2 most prominent monoclonal antibodies (by Regeneron and Lilly) have come to market with substantial governmental support for product commercialization. Both products derive from therapeutic research platforms established with governmental support before the COVID-19 pandemic, but product commercialization and manufacturing received major additional investments in 2020. Separately, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics program has committed $1.5 billion to supporting development of diagnostic tests related to COVID-19. The specifics of the federal contracts largely remain confidential.

Why do they remain confidential? 

The lesson of the COVID-19 experience is that, when innovation in the life sciences is imperative, the traditional reliance on pharmaceutical industry prices and profits is jettisoned in favor of governmental grants and procurement. Sustained public funding for product development and commercialization will permit the sustained financing of innovation, a renewed attention to major public health needs, and the global position of the US pharmaceutical industry.

If there is public funding, why there aren't public patents?