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Matt Stoller: Biden's support for COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver marks 'huge loss' for Big Pharma

Matt Stoller, research director at the American Economic Liberties Project, said Thursday that the Biden administration’s support of a waiver for international patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines marks a “huge loss” for the influence of pharmaceutical companies. 

During an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Stoller reflected on the significance of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine TaiKatherine TaiBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal US, EU establish trade and technology council to compete with China US, EU reach deal to end 17-year aircraft trade dispute MORE’s announcement last week that the Biden administration will begin participating in World Trade Organization negotiations on the waiver, which would force Pfizer and Moderna to share research on mRNA technology used to develop their coronavirus vaccines. 

“These companies have a lot of intellectual property that they use as barriers to prevent anyone else from creating it,” Stoller said. “We just don’t have enough vaccines to vaccinate the world, and if you don’t vaccinate the world then what’s going to happen is you’re going to get variants that will emerge that will be able to get around vaccines, so the COVID pandemic will come back.”

Stoller said that the support from President Biden is significant because companies such as Pfizer and Moderna don’t “actually want to share their technology."

"If there are variants, it’s actually good for their business, because then they get to sell booster shots for years and years and years to rich countries at a higher price," he explained. “It’s a huge loss for pharma, and pharma never loses, so that’s a big deal." 

Watch part of Stoller’s interview above.