Opinion | Could Spilling Big Pharma’s Secrets Vaccinate the World?

We need more vaccines, fast. Is forcing pharmaceutical companies to share their intellectual property the answer?

Produced by ‘The Argument’

Just 12.5 percent of the world has been inoculated against Covid-19. To protect every country from the pandemic, regardless of economic level, there are many approaches global leaders could take. But they have to act fast. In this state of planetary emergency, should pharmaceutical companies that make vaccines be forced to break their patents? Is that the best or fastest way to get lower-income countries to catch up with vaccination rates? Weighing the pros and cons of a vaccine intellectual property waiver with Jane Coaston this week is Rachel Silverman, a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, and Tahir Amin, a co-founder and co-executive director of I-MAK, the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge.

[You can listen to this episode of “The Argument” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

Mentioned in this episode:

Tahir Amin and Rohit Malpani’s article for STAT, “Covid-19 has exposed the limits of the pharmaceutical market model”

The.Ink newsletter, “Of Patents and Power”

Harvard Law Bill of Health blog, “The Covid-19 Vaccine Patent Waiver: The Wrong Tool for the Right Goal”

The Economist, “Michelle McMurry-Heath on maintaining intellectual property amid Covid-19”

Times Opinion Guest Essay, “The West Has Been Hoarding More Than Vaccines”

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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“The Argument” is produced by Phoebe Lett, Elisa Gutierrez and Vishakha Darbha and edited by Alison Bruzek and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; audience strategy by Shannon Busta.

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