Universities have been a major source of innovation in responding to the COVID19 pandemic including the development of COVID19 vaccines. In the absence of production and distribution capacity, universities have partnered with large pharmaceutical corporations. These partnerships have raised difficult tensions including conflicts in intellectual property rights, licensing and the profit versus the public interest motive. Certain countries and organisations have called for the World Trade Organization to suspend intellectual property rights related to COVID-19 to ensure that all communities and countries, and not only the wealthiest, will have access to the vaccines. The pharmaceutical industry and many high-income countries oppose this move, stating that innovation will be stifled when it is needed most.
This seminar analyses the tensions that arise between governments, universities and large corporations in the development, production and distribution of vaccines in the context of a global pandemic. It raises major questions on how universities can proactively manage intellectual property rights; and points to alternative ways to develop these relationships in ways that protect and benefit humanity into the future.
Socialised Risk, Privatised Reward: The Story of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine and Alternative Models for Equitable Access
Rapid Covid-19 vaccine development has been underpinned by unprecedented levels of cooperation between universities and biopharma companies, supported by public funding from governments and not-for-profit organisations such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The decision of Oxford University to grant an exclusive licence to AstraZeneca for the manufacture and distribution of the AZD1222 vaccine worldwide has proved controversial and raises unanswered questions about equitable access, pricing and transparency. As public scrutiny of Covid-19 vaccines comes ever more sharply into focus, greater attention is being paid to the implications of intellectual property ownership, licensing agreements and the generation of profits and rewards. This presentation examines how public money invested in university-generated vaccine development can balance the exploitation of intellectual property rights with proper public scrutiny and equitable access.
Renewed Aims and Scope for #HigherEducationQuarterly the academic journal publishing critical scholarship on #policy, #organisation, #leadership, #governance, #management and the #professions in #highereducation
'Quality' is an omnipresent term in higher education policy & practice. But what does it mean in relation to teaching & learning? This free @SRHE73 event 22-23 June interrogates notions of quality. Call for contributions is open. See here for more details: https://srhe.ac.uk/civicrm/?civiwp=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/event/info&reset=1&id=533