The Biotech Innovation Organization has had a lot on its plate recently, with a deadly epidemic and ongoing efforts to revamp the country’s medication pricing structure (BIO). Meanwhile, Michelle McMurry-Heath, the trade association’s CEO, was in the office for only the fourth time last week when she spoke to The Hill. The trade group represents small Biotech companies as well as global giants like Pfizer.
Of course, development has not been without controversy, ranging from the cost at which discoveries are sold to whether those advancements are shared equally with low-income countries. McMurry-Heath met with officials from the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other countries in Geneva early last week to discuss the global distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
Industry groups, including BIO, have fought the WHO waiver and other proposals to force vaccine producers to reveal their intellectual property. The entire American economy is based on the premise that you should own your ideas, get funding for them, and be able to market them. It is nearly unconscionable to weaken the entire patent system, underpinning all of America’s development. Rather than a “philosophical argument” regarding in vitro fertilization, she referred to voluntary manufacturing partnerships that firms have formed worldwide, suggesting they are a more practical answer for increasing global vaccine access in the short term.