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D&D and the rising pandemic

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Not sure if you mean "I would have taken Moderna before J&J" or if you mean "I would rather go unvaccinated than take J&J".

If the first, fair enough.
Here in California it's not a matter of, "I would rather go unvaccinated than take J&J." It's, "I would rather get Moderna or Pfizer than J&J and if one place had J&J, I would just make an appointment somewhere else and get one of the others."
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
You get a choice?

Last I heard I think we have vaccinated 3%. That was around a week ago.

Not that we really need it ASAP other nations should take priority eg India.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You get a choice?

Last I heard I think we have vaccinated 3%. That was around a week ago.

Not that we really need it ASAP other nations should take priority eg India.
We have many places offering vaccine shots. So yeah, we can call around and get the one we want pretty easily.
 

Na it's not that Pfizer one is 95% AZis what 70%? Crossing the road is more dangerous than Covid here.
Well, assuming that more virus isn't carried into the country when things open up more in the future. Right now, India is passing the virus back and forth like crazy, due to the lack of vaccine and densely packed cities. We're going to have plenty of variants around. Fingers crossed the current vaccines slow the new variants down. The good news is that developing updated vaccines will be far easier than it was in the past.
 



Ryujin

Hero
Well, assuming that more virus isn't carried into the country when things open up more in the future. Right now, India is passing the virus back and forth like crazy, due to the lack of vaccine and densely packed cities. We're going to have plenty of variants around. Fingers crossed the current vaccines slow the new variants down. The good news is that developing updated vaccines will be far easier than it was in the past.
The city that I live in has something like a 46% South Asian population and the Federal Government wasn't doing a lot to curtail international flights. This likely plays a role in why we were something like 3x the Provincial average positivity rate, last week. Hopefully things will start to normalize a bit.

Some of the things that have been making the news show that the rules have been pretty meaningless. I can recall reading that an American CEO made something like three flights, back and forth to Canada, during lockdown when only essential travel was supposed to be permitted by air. Clearly, having money makes someone "essential."
 



Zardnaar

Legend
Well, assuming that more virus isn't carried into the country when things open up more in the future. Right now, India is passing the virus back and forth like crazy, due to the lack of vaccine and densely packed cities. We're going to have plenty of variants around. Fingers crossed the current vaccines slow the new variants down. The good news is that developing updated vaccines will be far easier than it was in the past.

Yeah they closed the border to India full stop.

Half of the qurantine cases were from India.
 




NotAYakk

Legend
India is way out of control horror zone style. The seemed to have been really lucky early on but they seem to have not taken it seriously
India is catching up on Brazil, statistics wise.

Similarly, nationalist governments who bluster about strength and not do much of use.

It is a pattern.

Nationalist governments like using governments for their goals, but don't like making a government that actually does things for its own people. And protecting the people from a pandemic requires lots of work from a central authority aimed at helping its own people.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
India is catching up on Brazil, statistics wise.

Similarly, nationalist governments who bluster about strength and not do much of use.

It is a pattern.

Nationalist governments like using governments for their goals, but don't like making a government that actually does things for its own people.

If you can get people shouting "Yay team" somehow you do not need to actually do anything.

And protecting the people from a pandemic requires lots of work from a central authority aimed at helping its own people.
like this
 


NotAYakk

Legend
In this case, if governments are willing to spend a few billion dollars on helping poorer countries get vaccines faster, I'm sure the pharma companies will send vaccines there instead of to the richer countries.

Fuck, at this point, letting the vaccines be exported to countries actually willing to put them into people's arms would result in more people at risk being vaccinated.

Mordana/Pfizer are both hard vaccines to produce; it is new tech. Now, removing patent protection on the new tech would encourage other people to figure out how to produce it profitably at a lower price, but the per-dose costs don't look insanely high at this point.

AZ and J&J are trying to ramp up their production as fast as possible, and every dose is being snapped up whenever vaccine nationalism lets the vaccines actually reach people.

This isn't a pharma problem. It is a "who pays for it" problem mostly, with a dash of nationalism to spice things up.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
F---, at this point...

tenor.gif

Now, removing patent protection on the new tech would encourage other people to figure out how to produce it profitably at a lower price, but the per-dose costs don't look insanely high at this point.

Working out how to produce it at lower cost is a development effort - that takes time, likely months to years. While in the long run it is helpful, in the sort run it'd increase time and cost to get stuff in people's arms. Also, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require deep refrigeration, that makes them incredibly had to work with in many places - these are not vaccines you want in areas with weak infrastructure, even if the cost per dose came down some

There are legal issues to removing patent protection - it isn't a thing the government can do on a whim, and doing so would freak the ever loving frak out of every technology company in the nation. A government trying to unilaterally remove patent protection probably means lawsuits, because no company wants their rights ripped away. And you should not expect the court precedent to go the way you want. While the courts might decide that a form of "eminent domain" may be exerted for a crisis in the US... we do not now have a crisis of production in the US. And I don't think there's a precedent for asserting such government rights on behalf of people of other nations.
 
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This isn't a pharma problem. It is a "who pays for it" problem mostly, with a dash of nationalism to spice things up.

My criticism wasn't exclusive to pharmaceutical companies. I think there is a lot that rich countries should be doing here well. But I think focusing only on the role of wealthy countries and ignoring the profit motive among pharmaceutical companies, and dismissing things like ending the patent protection, really plays into the hands of greedy corporations that are positioning themselves to get richer and stronger off a pandemic that effects people from every country, every level of society and shouldn't be about making money
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Working out how to produce it at lower cost is a development effort - that takes time, likely months to years. While in the long run it is helpful, in the sort run it'd increase time and cost to get stuff in people's arms. Also, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require deep refrigeration, that makes them incredibly had to work with in many places - these are not vaccines you want in areas with weak infrastructure, even if the cost per dose came down some
In practice, working out how to produce something at a lower cost generally comes from producing more of it and doing small scale optimizations, while under pressure to reduce costs.

See What Is Wright's Law | Learning Curve of Innovation -- make more of stuff, and in almost every industry, price drops. There has to be an incentive to actually capture such efficiencies.

Right now, due to IP law, there is little incentive in any company besides Phizer and Morderna to try to make the tricky lipid wrapping process of mRNA vaccines cheaper, and setting up a factory in places that grant them patent monopolies to try to do that isn't going to be viable. OTOH, the AZ/JJ/NV and even the Chinese and Russian vaccines are alternatives to the mRNA ones, so there is some price pressure on M/Pf. And places that don't respect US IP monopolies are trying to scale up mRNA based vaccines as well.

So there is hope that the costs will plummet.

There are legal issues to removing patent protection - it isn't a thing the government can do on a whim, and doing so would freak the ever loving frak out of every technology company in the nation. A government trying to unilaterally remove patent protection probably means lawsuits, because no company wants their rights ripped away. And you should not expect the court precedent to go the way you want. While the courts might decide that a form of "eminent domain" may be exerted for a crisis in the US... we do not now have a crisis of production in the US. And I don't think there's a precedent for asserting such government rights on behalf of people of other nations.
No, this is what governments do. They set the rules that determine what the legal issues are. And governments determine what lawsuits are allowed.

There is precident that they can retroactively increase the length of protection under the IP statute, and the US supreme court said "this is completely up to congress". It would be very strange if congress had nearly complete authority to extend the duration of patents and trademarks and dismissed all recourse from people harmed by that, and very limited ability to reduce the durations. But I guess corporations are people and money is free speech, so who knows what the SCOTUS will come up with next.

Many nations already have exceptions for bio pharmaceutical patents, including mandatory licensing, including for domestic use. OTOH, the USA usually places IP law demands in international trade treaties, which can bind other countries even if there is no domestic justification for the monopoly granted.

I don't see the incentive for the USA to do this. Pharma are good campaign contributors, and the USA has enough domestic manufacturing they can vaccinate their population. But the US-led world order that came out of the cold war is sort of limping along with blood leaking out at this point; maybe it will get bandaged up, or maybe not.

And IP law only holds if the benefits outweigh the costs.

My criticism wasn't exclusive to pharmaceutical companies. I think there is a lot that rich countries should be doing here well. But I think focusing only on the role of wealthy countries and ignoring the profit motive among pharmaceutical companies, and dismissing things like ending the patent protection, really plays into the hands of greedy corporations that are positioning themselves to get richer and stronger off a pandemic that effects people from every country, every level of society and shouldn't be about making money
India, as I understand it, isn't paying much attention to international patents for domestic consumption.

The mRNA ones are tricky enough that nobody but the inventors can make them yet. But AZ/JJ and the like are more traditional.

AZ in particular is producing the doses at basically cost; after paying for new factories, of course. The deal was that Oxford found a 2nd or 3rd tier pharma manufacturer who was willing to become much larger in exchange for producing a pile of vaccine that wasn't going to make them money directly; instead, they'll have goodwill and a much larger manufacturing base, which they can use to produce other stuff.

The medicines are really being priced for "we want it to be low enough that everyone on the planet uses ours", and the raw number of alternatives is also huge at making everyone keeps prices down. If one cost 10x as much as another, the other one will get used.

Right now, the prices are pretty insanely low, considering that the real problem is total supply not price per dose.
 

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