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The latest: What they are saying: intellectual property protections critical as we work to defeat COVID-19

Tom Wilbur   |     July 22, 2020   |   SHARE THIS

America’s biopharmaceutical companies are committed to COVID-19 treatment and vaccine research and development (R&D). Reliable IP protections have helped drive innovation and enhance patient access to breakthrough therapies. Innovators are also relying on these strong protections to discover new medical advances that will keep patients healthy during this pandemic and after.

Experts continue to highlight the importance of strong IP protections that encourage innovators to develop new COVID-19 solutions.

Here are some of their thoughts:

  • “The system is working: Dozens of companies and universities are now investigating COVID-19 vaccines, and many more are researching treatments. If we strip away intellectual property rights, the system will break down, and we’ll find ourselves farther from ending our global health crisis…The top speed at which anyone has developed a vaccine was four years, but that was in the 1960s, and the pace of scientific discovery has accelerated since. Patents will help us beat this record.” – Jon Soderstrom, Managing Director of the Office of Cooperative Research at Yale University, in Hartford Courant

  • “Intellectual property does not stand in the way of public health progress. Without it, there IS NO public health progress. If investors don’t get an ROI, they won’t invest, and R&D based industries will dry up.” – John LaMattina, Senior Partner at PureTech Health, in Forbes

  • “Government threats of price controls surely will not stimulate the invention of the vaccines and medicines that are needed to end this crisis. And a shift by the government to imperil intellectual property rights could easily shut down innovation. Without intellectual property protection, others who did not come up with the idea, and who did none of the research, are free to sell copies of the product without bearing the cost of the substantial and risky investment. During a global crisis, when rapid investment is needed most, lawmakers should reaffirm their support for research-based innovation.” – Mike Rosenblatt, Chief Medical Officer of Flagship Pioneering, in The Boston Globe

Strong and reliable IP protections support America’s robust innovation ecosystem by promoting innovation and affordability for patients who rely on new treatments and cures, like those in development to treat COVID-19. America’s biopharmaceutical companies remain committed to ensuring that treatments and vaccines developed for COVID-19 are available to all who need them.

For more information on the importance of IP rights, visit our IP page and stay tuned for our next IP Explained post.

Tom Wilbur

Tom Wilbur is Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA focusing on federal advocacy priorities including Medicare and intellectual property. Prior to joining PhRMA, Tom worked in politics and on Capitol Hill, most recently responsible for communications and strategy for U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Tom is a proud Michigander and outside of the office enjoys reading, running, hiking, golfing, live music, and spending time with family and friends.

Topics: Research and Development, Intellectual Property, IP Explained, Coronavirus

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