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Speed the Jab

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Add to Bookmarks May 27, 2021 In response to intensifying political pressure, US President Joe Biden’s administration now supports a waiver of intellectual-property rights for COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. But an IP waiver, although urgently needed to reduce suffering in low-income countries, may not be enough to accelerate the fight against the coronavirus. In this Big Picture, Nobel laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch accuse private drug companies of deadly rent-seeking and rebut

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In response to intensifying political pressure, US President Joe Biden’s administration now supports a waiver of intellectual-property rights for COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. But an IP waiver, although urgently needed to reduce suffering in low-income countries, may not be enough to accelerate the fight against the coronavirus.

In this Big Picture, Nobel laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch accuse private drug companies of deadly rent-seeking and rebut their claims that an IP waiver would set a damaging precedent. And Jayati Ghosh of the University of Massachusetts Amherst goes further, arguing that ending the pandemic – and fighting future ones – also requires public production of vaccine supplies.

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