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The latest: What they are saying: Intellectual property protections vital to incentivize ongoing COVID-19 research and development

Tom Wilbur   |     September 8, 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 American innovation system is working, and is working in overdrive, to solve this pandemic. Intellectual property is proving to be critical as we are working to create tests, treatments and cures for this virus. And the fact is we wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing without the IP behind it to date… All of what is being accomplished today is the result of years of innovation; it is important not to lose track of that.” – Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in IP Watchdog
  • “Private sector innovators depend on reliable intellectual property rights to make long-term, high-risk, capital intensive investments in innovation. Those investments over many decades have built a pipeline of biopharmaceutical, telecommunications and other technological capabilities that are available to implement now as we determine how best to address the pandemic. Success in the search for effective vaccines and therapies, the ability to stay connected, informed and safe, and similarly the solutions to the next crisis down the road, all depend on intellectual property-enabled investment in innovation.” – Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President of Policy at the Global Innovation Policy Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in IP Watchdog
  • “We’re fortunate that the ecosystem America has implemented to support novel biomedical innovation over the past four decades has positioned an innovative industry with the bench depth, knowledge and resources to spearhead an enormous response against COVID-19, including some 750 clinical trials for therapeutics now ongoing worldwide, with 107 vaccine candidates in preclinical testing and nine already in Phase 1 or 2 clinical trials. In contrast to what critics might assert, now is not the time to undermine either the IP rights or reasonable pricing reimbursement approaches that have underpinned so much successful biomedical innovation, and which will be key to getting through this crisis.” – Stephen Ezell, Vice President for Global Innovation Policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, in Innovation Files

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, Coronavirus

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