” COVID-19 Vaccine – Global Solution is the Need of the Hour ” – June 5, 2020.
Global focus is now centered around minimising the loss of lives due to COVID-19 and to find a suitable ‘vaccine’ for the purpose. Scientists and researchers all over the world are busily engaged in this task now.
Department of Health, U.S.A., and the multinational drug company, Astra Zeneca, want to discover a suitable vaccine compressing the usual 10 years of research into months with eager and enthusiasm. Their main focus of attention is to find the vaccine before this October ; performing successful trials ; and releasing at least 30 crores of doses for immediate use. Similar attempts are ongoing in many other countries including India.
The speed and initiative in the discovery of a new vaccine for COVID-19 is understandable. At the same time, it is also important to conduct the required trials for a safe and secure Medicine. Medical emergency, half baked and less well planned ideas with the sole aim of deriving profits should not guide the efforts in any manner. The solution will be worse than the problem if this happens.
COVID-19 has revealed the whole dimension and magnitude of globalisation of the human race itself. The patent rights of the ‘vaccine’ for Companies discovering it is an important issue here. It is only legitimate and justifiable for the companies spending millions and billions on research to claim the patent rights. But there is also the need for norms and regulations in the exercise of these rights. A discovery that cannot be used for treatment of common patients may not be important enough to have a noticeable effect in society. What is the use of doing it ?
Companies spending huge sums of money to find such medicines get the rights of discovery and commercialisation for 20 years normally. Hence, the cost of medicines are proportionately high. Such efforts having a great influence as a result of years of work are beyond the realms of developing nations. Hence, cure of diseases of Ft Plate People using such medicines seems impossible. There are several contentious cases (TRIPS) happening frequently between the multinational drug companies holding international patents and developing nations in International Courts and Courts in respective Nations. At a time when the entire world is eagerly waiting to come out of grievous economic situations, this problem assumes quite a significance.
It will definitely be a great effort to find a ‘vaccine’ or drug within a short period of time. But that drug or vaccine to work in an easy and natural way in terms of cure for all people is the real challenge. The debate on this has already started.
“Sanofi” is a big French multinational pharmaceutical company and is a global leader in healthcare. It has reached the final stages of finding a vaccine for COVID-19. America has given the complete funding for the purpose – for the company for research and development. The Chief of this Company has declared that serving American needs is its priority at this juncture. French President is angry with the Company because of his firm conviction that ” any Protective Drug or Vaccine should be of Universal, Global benefit without dictating terms based on Market Forces “.
World Health Organisation (WHO) has extended some concessions to national governments to protect common people/society. COVID-19 is a threat. Hence, setting aside the intellectual patent rights paving the way for assigning full rights of the vaccine discovery to the Governments exist in an argument that is pervading the discussions now.
The capacity to discover such vaccines by Companies should not be impeded. Scientists and researchers in different companies and places involve in their research activities independent of one another. If coordination and integration between them – who compete in their single minded journey of a vaccine – time, energy, and resources can be easily controlled.
THIS IS WHAT SHOULD BE THE AIM OF WORLD LEADERS NOW.
Common funding from WHO or the UN to the drug companies (including researchers) with a General Licence offer will be the right SOLUTION to this problem.
Drug research should not be a victim of lack of concern or relaxations. Commercialisation at unregulated prices should be avoided.
For the sake of World Peace and a Worldly Solution, this problem should be viewed and approached in a different angle/perspective.
“Dieu avec nous”
Friday, June 5, 2020 – 9.59 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Knowledge is very vital in life’s transformation and transition. We are exactly in this moment NOW”.