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Patents for Covid-19 vaccines are based on public research: a case study on the privatization of knowledge

Massimo Florio

No 2103, CIRIEC Working Papers from CIRIEC - Université de Liège

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reconsider the relationship between public and private research and development (R&D). The policy issue is whether, over the next 20 years, governments’ only negotiating position on biomedical technologies will be to sign one purchase contract after another and transfer value from tax payers to investors in pharmaceutical companies. Knowledge and technologies that are crucial to Covid-19 vaccine development and production were created with the contribution of governments. Patents filed by pharma companies do not protect the public interest arising from such earlier research. The paper offers a case study on the privatization of knowledge created in the first place by R&D in the public sector or supported by public funds and eventually being appropriated by pharmaceutical corporations.

Keywords: COVID 19 pandemic; vaccines; public and private R&D; Big Pharma; public funding; USA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H51 I11 L32 O32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ino, nep-sbm and nep-tid
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:crc:wpaper:2103

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