How to meet the huge demand for vaccines against Covid-19? Some are calling for patents to be open to other laboratories. A utopia ?
Hardly arrived on the market, the vaccine against the Covid-19 already causes the discord. States are snapping up the available quantities. For 2021, Pfizer Laboratories /BioNTechannounce they can produceof thembillion doses, againsta billion for Moderna andthreebillion forAstraZeneca. For this, manufacturers rely on their production sites, who are in the number of four in the United States and four in Europe (Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Germany) for Pfizer and Moderna. Land vaccine d’AstraZenecait ist, as forhis,productin the UK and Belgium.
Collaboration or cancellation of patents
To produce even more, other laboratories would need to lend a hand, according to Anne Bucher, former director general of health at the European Commission.“The initiative to use Sanofi to produce Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines goes in this direction ”, she estimates. But the vaccine requires specific know-how. So, to increase the quantities of vaccines available, specialists in the pharmaceutical industry propose to obtain supplies outside the borders.of the EU by collaborating with Russia or China.Another avenue: a WTO treaty makes it possible to abolish patents, but it would be necessary toncompensate laboratories.