As researchers continue to study the best way to prevent the next pandemic, pharmaceutical companies like Moderna and Pfizer are refusing to share critically helpful data gathered from the mass administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
Pharmaceutical companies do have the right to withhold the information under patent law, which grants them protection over their patents on the COVID-19 vaccines and the associated data.
The only way for researchers to access the data is by asking the companies for permission, but so far they have been uncooperative.
Pfizer en Moderna delen geen corona-vaccins met onafhankelijke onderzoekers. Die op zoek naar andere corona behandelingen.https://t.co/cZfxre7WIh
— Bob #NooitMeerLockdown📵 (@Bob36783646) September 24, 2022
Yale University virologist and immunologist Akiko Iwasaki reached out to Pfizer to help in her research of potential nasal vaccines, but the company has yet to issue a response.
“In order for us to develop a better vaccine, we need a comparator,” said Iwasaki. “For that reason, everyone who’s doing research in this area is in the same boat, we don’t have access to do a comparison,”
California Institute of Technology professor Pamela Bjorkman has faced similar challenges in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines for treatment research.
“Whatever policy prevents using such vials does a great disservice to global efforts to develop new and improved vaccines,” Bjorkman stated.
So far, Pfizer has remained tight-lipped when questioned about the prospect of sharing COVID-19 data with researchers.
“We are not accepting or reviewing applications for possible clinical research that studies the Covid-19 vaccine,” said Pfizer spokeswoman Sharon Castillo.
A law professor at Villanova University, Ana Santos Rutschman, confirmed that what the pharmaceutical companies are doing is legal and logical from a business perspective.
“If you use this thing that has been patented, what you’re doing doesn’t matter,” said Rutschman. “Even if you’re trying to cure cancer, the law is pretty rigid.”