Just tweeted —
It’s not clear to me how much of a problem this is, which is why I haven’t said much about it, but now it’s no longer an issue to be fought over in the media. The Biden administration is focusing on the reality – getting the vaccines to people.
What are text-based negotiations?
Major Major Major Major
This is good! But yeah, I don’t know either how many of the production constraints are hard supply chain bottlenecks, as opposed to a question of IP. (I think you have a post about this recently?)
@Major Major Major Major: It’s a real hot-button issue, and I don’t know enough to say much definitively. I posted about production a few days ago.
I’ve seen nobody address which manufacturers are holding back because of IP issues or how many doses that might free up. It’s possible that some of the Indian manufacturers don’t want to invest in the renovations and new equipment until they see a route to using it after the pandemic. Which a waiver for the duration of the pandemic might not address.
Vaccines have very different production requirements from other pharmaceuticals, and the mRNA vaccines have yet another set of requirements. For many years, vaccine development and production have received short shrift from Big Pharma because they aren’t a big profit center. One dose per person every year or more. But ED enhancers? Every night, baby!
It’s going to be interesting to see how much resistance Big Pharma and smaller companies that supply part of the ingredients put up to this. Moderna is part of the way there, but they have suppliers who may not be. If I were them, I’d go along, but their history is of being very protective of their IP. Too protective, which is part of what drives up the price of insulin, for example.
@WaterGirl: I don’t know
@Cheryl Rofer: if it’s not a big $ maker, seems like a no brainer from a PR/goodwill perspective to give out the formula for just one vaccine
@Benw: Formula is one thing. Technology is likely another. And if the mRNA approach becomes as widespread as it appears it might, I imagine some companies will be loathe to share proprietary methods to future competitors. I suspect that will be the most difficult needle to thread in these negotiations.
@Major Major Major Major: And some of those supply chain bottlenecks are IP constrained too.
This is silly – they will still make tons of money, just fewer than otherwise.
That’s why the stocks are at session lows. I don’t know what’s silly about it.
ETA: My guess is that they will rise again, or at least stabilize.
@Cheryl Rofer: Trust the stock market to always stampede in fear at the slightest whiff of loss. Any kind of loss.
Stocks will bounce back within the week.
TFG reacts to Facebook, via JL Cauvin
I hope this takes wing (fin) because investigating Trump’s Interior Department will uncover deep corruption.
And of course, camera time for Katie Porter and her white board. :-)
I suspect that manufacturers are unlikely to go along with this for countries that have the wherewithal right now to produce vaccines and who might be perceived as calling for this for future competitive reasons. In other words, India’s current crisis isn’t caused by inability to produce vaccines and won’t be solved by dropping IP protections, and in the long run it already has the capacity to produce vaccines — it was planning to do so for the rest of the developing world until it became clear that it needed every vaccine it produced for its own population. On the other hand, giving South Africa, Brazil, and many other countries the ability to manufacture their own vaccines would definitely help bring the pandemic under control in countries where vaccine supply is basically at the mercy of other nations. And I still think that there is a risk of the worst case scenario, countries spending a lot of resources to manufacture vaccines and failing at some point or another.
Major Major Major Major
@Cheryl Rofer: As I saw somebody note on Twitter, this is also being reported in a silly fashion. Why, Pfizer’s share price hasn’t been this low since *checks ticker* yesterday!
Looks like Chernobyl may be back in the news.
Plunge only applies to today’s market. They are all still at/near record highs. Actually looks like the day traders were left high & dry when volume suddenly pfizzled and they had to dump today’s buying.
ETA: Ex-Dividend Date tomorrow for Pfizer, and Earnings Date for Moderna. So completely expected price behaviors anyway.
ETA: minor edits
There are more mRNA vaccines in the pipeline. For example, Moderna has one for influenza and another for AIDS. It’s not inconceivable an mRNA vaccine for some cancers could be on the horizon. And then there is mRNA medicine delivery using extracellular vesicles which is only at the bare beginnings of investigation.
Companies aren’t going to give-up their entire future just because.
Major Major Major Major
Especially companies like m[ode]RNA, which were created for the specific purpose of researching mRNA vaccines…
@Major Major Major Major:
The entirety of the financial press could be run over by a bus and the only result would be a slight, but still significant, rise in the global IQ.
@Anoniminous: CNBC = buy, buy, buy…
What is the exposure to getting fleeced on future mRNA vaccines once the tech is widely distributed?
Steve in the ATL
@WaterGirl: mostly emojis, selfies, and pics of their dinner
Thank you for being our Cauvin whisperer. I keep forgetting to check on him. Which reminds me: need to check on @BrentTerhune and @BlaireErskine.
. . . Brent explains crytocurrency! “It’s like an NFT but for money.”
John Aravosis ?????️? (@aravosis) tweeted at 2:19 PM on Wed, May 05, 2021:
McConnell admits that congressional Republicans’ only goal is to “stop” Biden’s administration. Every time a Democrat gets elected to the White House, is the same thing from Republicans: they admit that they have no interest in getting anything done. https://t.co/NHAsSAlVhD
@Cheryl Rofer: To me, making big bank on vaccines in a pandemic feels like it’s in the same neighborhood as war profiteering, so I don’t think they have much ground to stand on as they complain.
Plus, big pharma like Pfizer should be thanking their lucky stars that this has helped repair their below-ground-level reputations with the general public. That should be profit enough!
@Steve in the ATL: hahahahaha
@MattF: I’m not sure where the appropriate place my reaction should fall on the continuum. I am alternating between “interesting” and “holy fuck”.
Not taking it gracefully
Random thought: it seems the right incentive here might be to have some reimbursement program for the vaccines giving up patent protection, where the overall winner in doses manufactured and delivered without royalties gets the highest payout. I mean, make sure there’s a pot of money for everyone – you don’t ever want to say “give up 100% of your royalties because we said so” – but make the #1 or 1&2 top doses delivered, royalty free, prize worth enough that it’s worth risking a few gambles, like helping some of the less wealthy countries actually get people vaccinated.
The Biden administration could also make a grand show of pushing back against participation of vaccine distributors who didn’t provide efficacy and safety reporting early on – boy, the Republicans would have a field day between “he’s putting pressure on China (which the Trumpsuckers love) and Russia (which the Trumpsuckers hate) so how do we say he’s a horrible human being, trying to destroy every aspect of American life?”
@Anoniminous: “mRNA” is not what’s patented nor patentable. It’s *this* configuration of mRNA for *this* purpose. Future mRNA vaccines will still be protected even if the patents for COVID vaccines are waived (I am not a lawyer, I suppose the law might surprise me on this).
This is why Moderna waived the IP rights for their vaccine a while back (of course, it was a moderately empty gesture because there were a lot of other patents in the way).
I suppose the company with the patent on the liposome delivery system might be one that would see their future mRNA prospects dim.
I bet patent protections were in place long enough to give the rights holders an insurmountable head start.
I am increasingly bugged by the idea that all of our current social conflicts are being driven by the media believing that conflict is the route to profitability.
@Cheryl Rofer: “Nice vaccination program you’ve got here. Shame if something were to happen to it…”
IT’S LIKE BIDEN IS MORE SOCIALIST THAN THE GODDAMNED PANTSY-ANSTS TWITTER SOCIALISTS!!!
(DCL + SOME VACCINE AND A LOT OF OTHER STUFF…)
We would also lose the daily Mad-Libs they play, based on the template “(category) stocks were (adverb) (direction) today on the news that (random event)“.
Tech stocks were sharply up today on the news that baseball is re-evaluating the designated hitter rule.
@Cheryl Rofer: Biden’s team knows all of this, so I expect that they have thoughts on addressing these other challenges. I wonder how much more could have been ramped up in 2020 with competent American leadership.
@sdhays: I’m concerned that when this doesn’t make a difference in India or Brazil, there will be more recriminations.
The fact is that not much will make a difference in India or Brazil for months or more. We can send, and are sending, humanitarian help in the form of oxygen and hospital supplies, and those will save a few lives. But once the virus is that badly out of control, there’s not much anyone can do.
The fact is, as Derek Lowe says in his thread at 36, vaccine production is limited. It will take months to build additional capacity.
We shall see if this helps. But I have my doubts.
J R in WV
I remember reading (or perhaps hearing on MSNBC, Rachael or Chris in the evenings) that we could be landing C-5As full of vaccine in every airport in India, and it would take months to make a difference in the rate of infection and subsequent death.
A C-5A is the largest cargo plane in the US inventory and could deliver millions of doses, if we had that many available to deliver, which we don’t. No one does.
India’s problem is like ours with the former guy, he (Modi) allowed the virus to run rampant through his nation with no encouragement for the people to stay home, no program to deliver food to people sheltering in place, no mask requirements, not only allowing giant religious gatherings but encouraging them even as it was obvious that they would be super-spreader events.
Sort of like spring break, but for many times as many people, more crowded than our beaches. Amazing to see the video of those crowds, pressed together, chanting and singing, spreading droplets laden with viral particles…
I hope Modi reaps what he has sown in the crowds. I’m sorry for the people of India whom he is riding into the ground. I have many friends from India who came here to work with us, I hope their families came behind them to be safer here, now that the former guy is out of work. That was all in the long ago now that I’m an old…
Not to mention the lack of planning to provide O2 to hospitals, gloves, masks, gowns, etc. No planning of any sort to cope with anything at all. Just party like — weil like nothing was wrong at all, things should just go on like always and no one would suffer and die at all.
Oops. We came so close to that end right here…
And evidently many of the Q folks, and RWNJ fools believe that the tragedy in India and Brazil is another hoax. We shouldn’t take any of that into account, it isn’t the fate we avoided by the skin of our teeth. Just more mainstream news hoax, because it isn’t on their news feed from hell. Good grief, Charley Brown.