US COVID Vaccine Patent Waiver Is Big, Symbolic Blow For Pharma, But The Fight Is Just Beginning
Drug manufacturers still have a variety of ways to limit the impact of the Biden administration’s historic decision. Whether the huge political loss for industry translates into more than just headline-risk or faster global COVID vaccination remains to be seen. It is also not clear whether it is an ominous sign for other industry battles in the US, including the drug pricing debate.
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An early high for Pfizer with its strong first-quarter results was followed by patent waiver worries. At the other end of the spectrum, Esperion reminded us of the challenges in making a commercial success as a small biopharma firm in the pandemic.
A COVID-19 second wave is wreaking havoc in India but pharma appears to be holding things together for now, stretching resources amid a dip in personnel attendance and supply chain strains. Limited vaccine supplies, a spurt in API prices and an inevitable third wave could mean further turbulence ahead.
In this week's podcast version of Five Must-Know Things, hear about IP waivers for coronavirus vaccines; launch records for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine; new potential delivery routes for booster vaccines; newcomers in the BCMA-targeting field; and a snapshot of the current state of play in global pharma R&D.