Pandemic and the Problem with Intellectual Property

If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly instructive case study in what the neoliberal dogma that now governs our waking lives really means when stripped of artifice or pretense. As things stand, just a handful of profit-driven private companies currently control the knowledge and expertise required to produce vaccines — with people in many poorer countries not expected to be vaccinated until at least 2024. It didn’t have to be this way, of course.Enabled by a monopolistic global intellectual property (IP) regime and with a tip of the hat to billionaire Bill Gates, Big Pharma and its political allies have largely succeeded in controlling and defining the narrative during the early vaccine rollout — transforming the prospective solution to a global crisis into yet another occasion for narrow corporate profit, in this case at the expense of public health and a speedy end to the pandemic.

Source: Novelist Cory Doctorow on the Problem with Intellectual Property