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  • rmacculloch

So the Kiwi government doesn't want new vaccines developed to fight new virus variants?

Whilst our nation has bet its future on the Pfizer vaccine to help us move forward with our lives, the PM just delivered a speech at the United Nations in which she supported "a waiver of intellectual property protections for vaccines & other measures to increase availability". So what's Minister Chris Hipkins (aka "Chippy") saying to Pfizer? Maybe something along the lines of, "Please can you deliver us more vaccines quicker & put us at the front of the queue & oh, by the way, sorry for trying to bankrupt your company by sabotaging your IP at the same time"?


Yes our government wants to take away the incentives of pharmaceutical companies to invent new vaccines to combat new virus variants. Making more vaccines available to poor countries by buying them up & distributing them to those places for free to help stamp out the virus world-wide is vitally important. But promoting the removal of IP protections at this time in world history is a terrible idea. The benefit of trying to attack the profits of drug companies is tiny compared to the cost of curtailing development of vaccines for new variants that may save millions of lives.


And the irony of our government blaming past Kiwi pro-market economic reforms for costing "lives and livelihoods", as Finance Minister Grant Robertson put it last year, when our lives and livelihoods currently hang on a vaccine produced by a profit-maximizing "big pharma" company listed on the NYSE is hard to ignore.


Sources:

https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/new-zealand-pm-jacinda-ardern-un-general-assembly-2021-speech-transcript