The outcome of the world’s response to COVID-19 depends largely on the success of longstanding research and development (R&D) partnerships between public and private sector institutions, including national governments, universities, and pharmaceutical companies. So it’s crucial that governments resist the impulse to undermine these relationships by adopting policies inimical to private sector research efforts, warns Joseph Allen in IP Watchdog:
“…some want to return us to the days when the government seized inventions made with even small levels of federal funding. Because they were only available through non-exclusive licenses, they gathered dust on the shelves as the incentives needed to take them from the lab into the marketplace were destroyed.”
Allen also notes that the Bayh-Dole Act, which protects the rights of private sector R&D establishments that receive federal funds, stands as a bulwark against these misguided policies:
“Since its creation more than 200 new drugs and vaccines are protecting health around the world. And once we allowed our public and private sectors to effectively collaborate, the U.S. became the undisputed leader in the life sciences. The industry is largely driven by innovative small companies, which have some of the most promising therapies to meet the current crisis.”
Read the full piece here.