An unprecedented push to manufacture billions of doses this year alone has led to supply bottlenecks, putting firms such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca Plc in the firing line of angry government customers. Now the industry is taking heat for closely guarding its intellectual property.
The discovery of multiple safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines has been the reputational boost the pharmaceutical industry needed. As science has caught up to the coronavirus, the price-inflating antics of Martin Shkreli and manufacturers’ roles in the opioid epidemic have faded into the background while people literally raise their glass to drugmakers like Pfizer.
An unprecedented push to manufacture billions of doses this year alone has led to supply bottlenecks, putting firms such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca in the firing line of angry government customers. The potential adverse effects of sticking needles into people’s arms are dominating headlines, as seen with the halting of the Astra vaccine in Canada and Europe even as regulators insist the benefits outweigh the risks.
Now the industry is taking heat for closely guarding its intellectual property. That’s blamed for what the World Health Organization dubs a “catastrophic moral failure”: the immunization gap between the developing world and deep-pocketed rich countries, which have ordered enough doses to cover their populations several times over.
If vaccine makers were to waive exclusive rights to manufacture their product – an idea pushed by 58 countries at the World Trade Organization including India and South Africa – advocates say that supply would bloom and we would exit the pandemic quicker. The push for a “people’s vaccine,” backed by the likes of Bernie Sanders, is popular with three-quarters of British voters and almost two-thirds of French people polled by YouGov.
Unlike in past crises such as HIV/AIDS, cracking open the recipe for Covid vaccines, especially those from Pfizer and Moderna is only half the battle given the complexity of genetic technologies making their debut in this pandemic. Manufacturing is a challenge too, and there isn’t much time for trial and error.
We haven’t quashed this virus yet and letting the pharma industry’s pandemic halo crash to the floor won’t help get us there any faster. Finding constructive ways to keep the public’s romance with drugmakers last a little longer makes sense, even if it doesn’t make money.
Read more at:
The United States has been pushing India to restart vaccine exports as it looks to stem the global spread of the Covid pandemic.
Quess Corp, India’s leading business services provider, announced the launch of its new healthcare vertical to address the shortage of healthcare professionals.
The shippers are in for struggle yet another time, with the market buzzing in speculations of liners planning of ‘blank sailing’ during China’s Golden Week holiday in early October to extract maximised profits.
Less than a month into a COVID-19 vaccine booster drive, Israel is seeing signs of an impact on the country’s high infection and severe illness rates fuelled by the fast-spreading delta variant, officials and scientists say.
Researchers have developed a blood test able to detect more than 50 types of cancer that is accurate enough to be used nationally as a multi-cancer screening test in those at higher risk of the disease, including those aged over 50 with no symptoms.
At Last: Separated and Freshly Bound –
Amidation of light alkanes
AstraZeneca (AZ) has announced that new real-world data from Canada shows its COVID-19 vaccine – Vaxzevria – was found to be highly effective after one dose against severe disease or hospitalisation caused by the Beta and Delta variants.
Interruptions to the inspection programme of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) due to travel restrictions – made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic – led to the creation of a system of Real-Time Remote Inspections (RTEMIS).