is Patent Counsel with Reavis Page Jump LLP. Her practice focuses on intellectual property matters with special emphasis on patent prosecution and licensing in numerous fields of science and technology.
For more information or to contact Dara, please visit her Firm Profile Page.
As governments around the globe fight the COVID-19 outbreak, pharmaceutical companies race to develop a vaccine and potentially secure a patent for it. To speed the process, much of that effort builds on known drugs for other diseases. The World Economic Forum reports that 70 potential vaccines are currently in development around the world. According to a BBC report, research is in progress on more than 150 additional drugs globally, with many pre-existing drugs being trialed for potential usefulness in combatting COVID-19. Those which can are giving it their best shot—for people as well as profit. In the wake of this COVID-19 vaccine and patent sprint, questions arise concerning affordable and universal access: will governments, especially poorer ones, be able to secure affordable access to a vaccine if and when one becomes available? Can a patent owner actually be forced to license a COVID-19 vaccine for the benefit of the greater good? The answers are likely yes to both, depending where you are.