The Government of USA have called for lifting of patent on Covid-19 Vaccine. USA is in communication with European Union and other countries to implement this.

India and South Africa in month of October started this conversation to lift Patent protection on vaccines of Covid-19. Now support for this has grown across other countries. Many politicians in Congress of USA who belong to Democratic Party have also demanded for the same. As the outbreak of Covid-19 worsens across the world people are pressurising governments to make efforts to lift the Patent protection on Covid-19 vaccines and other drugs used for the treatment of Covid patients.

Earlier US and other countries were against the lifting of protection because pharmaceutical companies pay large sum of money as taxes, gives a lot of people job. Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies lobby to maintain the status quo and spend a lot of money on it. These countries lead the world in innovation which gives them prestigious place amongst others which they want to maintain.

Many Industry and Industrialists are against it.

New vaccines are incredibly expensive to develop. It takes a lot of money to develop new medicines because of many experiments and it takes years of hard work in laboratory. Testing on animals and then on human increases the cost manifold. Then if they get approval there is a risk of sales.

When they get the Patent they can charge whatever they want for their products. Patent prevents others from copying their product. In US patent gives typically 20 years of protection but drug companies usually improve or make small changes to their medicines and secure additional 10 year of protection and monopoly.

According to pharmaceutical industry this move of waving off patent rights won’t help developing or poor countries. As the making of vaccine is not as easy as following a set recipe, it requires far more complex procedure and specialised equipment. It also requires factories, skilled labour and stringent quality control. All these things cannot be set up over night.

There is a shortage of factory worldwide as companies have already hired most of the drug manufacturers on contract basis to manufacture their vaccines. Many of the Raw materials vital for manufacturing of vaccine is already in a short supply and that’s not going to change soon.

The move to waive off patent protection on Covid-19 vaccine has drawn praise from many countries and humanitarians across the world. But it has been opposed by drug makers as it will hurt their income. Which in turn will hurt innovation, because huge amount of money is needed to invest in research of medicines, as new strains of Covid virus is being found regularly.

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