Patents are Not the Problem!

Source: Marginal Revolution.

Economist Alex Tabarrok takes issue with the administration’s diagnosis of Covid vaccine supply shortages. You gotta love the irony. Stumble Joe thinks we can and should spend billions on wind farms and electric vehicle charging stations, but when it comes to vaccine production he won’t spend a penny.

20 thoughts on “Patents are Not the Problem!

  1. Stumble Joe? Still? How childish is that?

    The hair on fire reaction to these emergency and temporary patent waivers being proposed makes it seem like it was the “boffins” working for President Biden who came up with this approach. It wasn’t. The main thrust has come from India and South Africa who are facing a humanitarian crisis that makes Trump’s 570,000 dead seem insignificant in comparison. And, it should be noted that each day the pandemic rages unabated in such populous countries is another day for a dangerous mutation to emerge. It is in our interest to expedite vaccinations everywhere.

    Should we damage our relations with the second most populous country on the planent and fight this fight on behalf of Big Pharma to protect profits at the cost of lives? President Biden has reversed course on this and decided we should not.

    By the way, anyone who calls acceding to the needs of India and other poor countries in this crisis as “virtue signaling to the anti-market left” is a partisan hack. IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “By the way, anyone who calls acceding to the needs of India and other poor countries in this crisis as “virtue signaling to the anti-market left” is a partisan hack.”

      So, given the production, supply chain and resource issues Tabarrok catalogs, how would the patent waivers accede to India’s needs in any way?

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      1. They could begin sooner, rather than later to start their own production. They think they can do it. They are smart and resourceful people. I trust their judgment over anyone displaying such partisan hackery.

        And, if this “analysis” is correct and there will not be new supplies resulting from these temporary IP waivers, why the objections? That is a rhetorical question. The answer is self-evident. Big Pharma believes there WILL be new production and THEY want to dictate the financial terms to the benefit of their investors.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “They could begin sooner, rather than later to start their own production.”

          Not likely. India, for example, already has licenses to produce vaccines, but isn’t producing them for reasons unrelated to patents.

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      2. India has one of the most prolific vaccine production programs in the world. Allowing them to produce would go a long way to assisting not only India, but other parts of the world that are not getting the vaccines required to protect their populations. And by extension, the global market.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. India already has licenses to produce AstraZeneca, Sputnik and Novavax, but isn’t producing them. Waiving IP rights won’t solve that problem.

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    2. Did you read the article? Giving them the IP will not increase production. But having the technology will let them cash in in the future.

      That’s the point. It’s not about speeding up the vaccine now, it’s about making foreign vaccine producers rich down the road.

      I wonder if anyone has checked into Hunter or James Biden’s connections in India and South Africa, because someone is getting one hell of a kickback.

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      1. “I wonder if anyone has checked into Hunter or James Biden’s connections in India and South Africa, because someone is getting one hell of a kickback.”

        Sadly this is very typical of the bullshit that you disgrace yourself with on a daily basis. Were you always such a clueless ad hominem dope or is that the Trump effect on weak minds at work?

        Before further embarrassing yourself you should gain some actual knowledge of the issues by reading this piece. . .

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/05/05/biden-administration-supports-waiving-patents-coronavirus-vaccines-big-pharma-wont-be-happy/

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So? Pretty much a Biden Crime Family press release.

          Again, read the article. Stealing the IP will not speed the production of the vaccines.

          After all, Chilean Tree Bark does not grow on patents. Neither does squalene.

          So, the remaining reason for stealing the IP is its future value.

          No doubt the patent owners have pointed this out to Biden, yet he is doing it anyway. Corruption is the remaining explanation.

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          1. You obviously have not read the WAPO piece.

            “However, governments have the power under TRIPS to issue “compulsory licenses” for pharmaceuticals, authorizing a domestic company to produce a generic version of a drug to be used domestically in response to a national health emergency, or turning to pharmaceutical companies elsewhere if they aren’t able to make it at home.”

            So this waiver does NOTHING that does not already exist under the relevant international agreements. It simply eliminate the delays that would accrue if – say – India were required to go the compulsory license route.

            Your simple-minded attacks based on imaginary Biden corruption and your total ignorance of what the issues actually are marks you for what you really are. Out of politeness I will not say what that is.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “It simply eliminate the delays that would accrue if – say – India were required to go the compulsory license route.”

            India already has licenses to produce Covid vaccines. So do other countries that are not producing them. IP is not a problem.

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          3. “Pretty much a Biden Crime Family press release.”

            You want so badly for it to be true, you keep repeating it. For 4 years you DEFENDED 45’s corruption and habitual lying.

            Condemn both or condemn neither. Otherwise you will never lose the name Dr. Hypocrisy.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. I get it that mRNA technology holds the promise for controlling – even ending – many of the diseases that plague human kind. You take that as a reason to erect patent walls to maximize the profits of Big Pharma. It take it as a reason to remove them so that the potential can be more fully exploited.

            With that said, you are still confusing the issues around these waivers. They have nothing to do with technology transfer. Or even where the vaccines are to be produced.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Compulsory licensing will accomplish the access you want, but waiving the patents permanently takes that IP from it’s owners.

            These techniques were developed over a decade at enormous risk and cost. If we steal them from thier owners because it seems advantageous in the short term, who is going to take the risk for the next miracle?

            Do you really think that mRNA vaccines are the last great advance in medicine possible? If not, then we still need risk takers.

            I know it doesn’t matter a bit to you, but stealing is wrong, whether you do it in person or through government.

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          3. “These techniques were developed over a decade at enormous risk and cost.”

            Legitimate question (IMO) How much of that research was actually government funded? If any of it it was, your “stealing” point is negated.

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          4. Nope

            Certainly much basic research is government funded, but that information is already in the public record and available to all.

            But there is a great deal involved in making use of that information and a long way from the basics of how something might be done and doing it at commercial volume.

            Everyone had access to the basic research, but not everyone was able to come up with a vaccine and the ability to produce it a tank car volume.

            You’re falling back on Obama’s ‘you didn’t build that’ reasoning that because the public provided infrastructure that a business uses, the public had a stake in the business. But the roads are there for everyone, not everyone succeeds in building a business. That business belongs to those who go byond what is given.

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          5. “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

            Nothing in that speech endorses giving a stake in any business because of infrastructure, schools, etc.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. You cannot have it both ways. No matter how hard you try.

            You want to deny the FACT that government funding made the rapid development of vaccines possible while at the same time giving credit to Trump for providing the government funding to make rapid development of vaccines possible. If you say to a vendor “I want you to develop X and I will buy X from you whether it works or not then YOU are funding the development of X.” Is that so hard to understand?

            I will forego commenting on how you have once again twisted President Obama’s words beyond recognition. In your drooling hatred you have done so countless times and no amount of setting the record straight is going to make you stop.

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          7. Trump did not say he would buy vaccines that didn’t work, he guaranteed a reasonable purchase of working vaccines even if someone else got to market first.

            That removed the risk of coming in too late.

            And of course, he eased the regulatory path, but not putting a stick in the spokes is not the same as pedaling the bike.

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