For the next pandemic, dear @EU_Commission@twitter.com, do it different. Offer 2B€ in cash for the first company/research group to bring a vaccine to approval, 1B€ for the second and 550M€ for the third. But they MUST transfer all IP/Patents for production to the EU in exchange. 1/2
Not all production is low cost though. I have seen factories producing biological agents and this is not your mom and pop's small molecule facilities in terms of operations and complexity.
@boilingsteam Absolutely. That's exactly the problem we are facing right now. Through exclusive knowledge and patents on production, we cannot ramp up production of vaccines independently. We are dependent on very few companies and we have no real way to pressure them. Hence my proposal.
Counter example. bio similars are basically the equivalent of generics for biological agents and they are still very expensive to produce and just a little cheaper than the original drugs. On top of that very few companies actually can produce them because of the level of expertise needed. And this is the case where the IP protections have expired. Look at insulins. Its public knowledge how to produce them but very few companies actually can.
@boilingsteam Yes. And that is IMHO a systemic problem. A lot of this knowledge has been privatised over the years. 40 years back this knowledge war more openly available. We need more open knowledge in this area. It is one of the reasons why I argue against exclusive rights for research done with taxpayers money. It should be very clear - You get public money, you deliver public knowledge. Open Source has proven that this works, at least for software.
@jwildeboer software and manufacturing are very different beasts. You can produce software in a garage with almost zero upfront cost. Building large industrial capacities to answer large demand costs hundreds of millions of USD and all the free IP in the world wont change that fact.
@boilingsteam A lot of these industrial production facilities already mostly run on Open Source Software ;) But the current situation does still not justify the privatisation of all that knowledge.
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