Back in May, President Biden did something worth celebrating. He authorized U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to reverse the long-standing U.S. opposition to waiving the patent, copyright, and trademark protections of the WTO treaty known as TRIPS, to which the U.S. is a party.
With that waiver, countries with vaccine manufacturing capacity, such as India, could produce the Pfizer vaccine at cost, at adequate quantities, and deliver it worldwide. But since that brave gesture, career U.S. trade officials based at WTO headquarters in Geneva have slow-rolled the TRIPS waiver, and there has been no progress at getting vaccines actually produced in quantity.
Patents are the problem, are they?
ADAR POONAWALLA, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), on Friday said they were building a facility to make mRNA vaccines, even as SII was scaling up its production of Covishield vaccines from the present 160 million doses monthly to 200 million doses from October.
While the facility for mRNA vaccines will take two years to be completed,
Oh, no, patents aren’t the problem.
Gee, the real world is a complicated place, ain’t it?