JOIN US TOMORROW! Political economy of medical R&D and access

YSI webinar

Political economy of medical R&D and access: the case of Covid-19 vaccines

Organized by Economics of Innovation WG and States and Markets WG

How can we reconcile innovation with social needs? What can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?

РBenjamin Coriat (Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris-Nord)
– Els Torreele (Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London)
– Julia Paranhos (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)

It is widely accepted that combating the COVID-19 pandemic requires a global collaborative effort and knowledge sharing to ease the development and distribution of new health technologies at affordable costs. However, in contrast, the world has witnessed the strengthening of Big Pharma companies together with "vaccine nationalism". While the rents of a few big pharmaceutical conglomerates are increasing in part due to appropriation of research and development results from public Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) systems, the competition among countries to secure doses (sometimes exceeding many-fold the size of their populations) is leading to an increase in prices and global inequality in the distribution of vaccines, preventing developing countries from acquiring them.

This is not the first pandemic and reminds us of the struggle for HIV/AIDS treatment equality. In fact, even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global health landscape confronted inequity and discrimination regarding pharmaceutical technologies' development, production and distribution. However, the pandemic has once again brought visibility of this divide to the forefront. The geographical distribution and vaccination rate highlights the wide gap between the haves and the have-nots of the modern world.

Addressing these issues of geopolitical and geo-economics context, transparency in R&D, and vaccine pricing, three outstanding researchers will share their understanding on a topic that wields consequences for countless lives around the world.

**Join us!