This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery and purification of insulin, a natural hormone crucial for treating the growing epidemic of diabetes and on which, in theory, there has been no patent attached for decades. However, the world’s insulin production is still monopolized by a handful of companies in Europe and the U.S., which sell it at astronomical prices. The WHO has described this situation as a “catastrophic moral failure” and it certainly is, but how did this happen, and more importantly, how do we get out of it?
Tag: intellectual property
The Covid vaccine patent waiver has become the subject of global debate following the announcement on May 5th that the US will push for a “waiver of patent protection” at the WTO. Although sold as a humanitarian measure driven by the need to stop the slaughter in India and other countries, the reality is quite different: it is part of a competitive strategy opposed especially by Germany, which is determined to use Covid to capitalize its biotech sector and become the “pharmacy of the world.”
The “No profit on the pandemic” campaign is spreading an important message throughout Europe: the intellectual property of pharmaceutical companies is a barrier in the way of halting Covid’s spread. Unfortunately, the reasoning is at the very least incomplete and the means unproductive. But it is worth a discussion.