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Pandemic Patents

2 replies of at least 300 words each

For each thread and reply, analysis must be supported with a minimum of 2 scholarly sources other than the course textbook and provided materials. Each source must be cited in current APA format. Each thread and each reply must include both full citations in a reference list at the end of each post, and short-form in-text citations. Acceptable sources include books, legal and business journals, legal cases, the law (cases, statutes, regulations, etc.), the Bible, biblical commentary, etc. Dictionaries and other web sources that lack scholarly support are not acceptable sources. Any sources cited must be current to the issue (e.g., Bible commentaries may by applicable from any age, but articles discussing current legal practices may no longer be relevant after 2 or 5 years). A well-developed, complete worldview analysis of the situation requires more than simply adding a Bible verse at the end of the post. Each thread and each reply must include at least 1 verse from Scripture, quoted and applied as an integral part of the discussion of the applicable issues in the context of a Biblical worldview.
Joshua Pettersen

As the CEO of one of the companies that produced COVID-19 vaccines, I would respond to calls to share my company’s IP with hesitation. Obviously, I would want to help as many people as possible. I also can’t sacrifice my company and the other lifesaving medications we may invent in the future. The hesitation comes from the fact that the “mRNA vaccine delivery system as a proprietary platform for other drugs and vaccines in the future” (Rowland, et al. 2021). The many years of hard work and money that it took to develop this delivery system, would be given away not just for the COVID-19 vaccine but also the many other drugs that can be developed using the delivery system. “$2.5 billion (about 2.1 billion euros) and 10 years were spent in developing the platform that makes Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine” (D’emilio, 2021). This means that other companies can use the platform that took my company 10 years to create and use it to develop all sorts of new products.

“The mRNA vaccine space is emerging as a promising alternative to traditional vaccine platforms, as mRNA vaccines can be manufactured quickly and tailored for a broad range of conditions. In clinical studies, mRNA vaccines targeting various infectious diseases and cancer were generally safe and well tolerated.” (Martin, & Lowery, 2020).

Though open development of products may be helpful in a consumer sense, this will be to the detriment of my own company and its future. The best solution would be to patent key information and create emergency partnerships that must agree to non-compete contracts if they want to create the proprietary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. This way select companies that I choose to work with will have the ability to manufacture, and distribute the vaccine if they are truly doing it for the greater good. The patent will easily allow people to use the information to create the COVID-19 vaccine and will allow my company to dictate when or if the patent protection is enforced. “The very act of filing an application for the patent exposes the invention to the public and competitors here and abroad” (Kubasek, et al., 2021, p. 182). This will ensure that my company will be helping the greater good by allowing other companies to produce the vaccine. It will also look out for the future of the company by holding on to the 20-year patent which we can use to produce many more vaccine/medications. Without this precaution we wouldn’t be able to recover the costs of the research and development process along with the advantage of future innovation.

My Biblical worldview would influence my decisions by making sure that I think of more than my own profit margins. I would make sure that I can help as many people as possible, while also making sure that my company doesn’t collapse.  The patent and release of information to specific companies to make the vaccine would greatly benefit people around the world. By protecting my company, I’m also protecting all the people that work for me and the families they provide for. Galatians 6:9-10 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (New International Version, 2011). It would be wrong to keep the patent to myself if I wasn’t able to produce and efficiently disseminate the vaccine. Keeping it to myself just for the sake of money not only would be unbiblical but would also create a bad connotation of my company. Mark 8:36 says, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (New International Version, 2011). What good would it be if I amassed riches but watched thousands or more people die because I wasn’t willing to share the vaccine.


Heather Cress

As the CEO of a company that was prompted to share a patent, the goal would be to protect the company while maintaining social responsibility. Patents are nothing new to pharmaceutical companies, such as the medications EpiPen and TamiFlu for example. Pharmaceutical companies make less profit once a patent expires, and other companies are able to produce generics.

“A patent is a legal device that grants an inventor market exclusivity over a new invention or medication…Pharmaceutical companies today are facing increased costs for drug discovery and development and aggressive competition from generic drug companies. As research costs skyrocket, generic drug companies sit poised and are ready to compete as soon as a patent expires. Maximizing patent term for successful products is an effective strategy for fending off generic competition and extending product lifecycle.” (Gupta et al., 2010)

Patents are necessary in order to protect businesses and the ability to compete against others in the pharmaceutical market. “Our (American) IP system – including patents – promotes competition and is the foundation for new treatments and cures for patients. Nobody has a monopoly on treating a condition, and brand patented drugs often have many competitors.” (Stansel & Bryant, 2022) Profits play a role in a pharmaceutical company’s ability to fund research and produce new medications.

The concern of what other entities choose to do with the patent would arise. Once the patent is released to the public, anything could be done with it and there is potential to diminish or even destroy the company reputation. There are other companies operating in the world that do not have any sense of ethical obligation and could make a faulty version of the product to make a profit. Not all countries offer equivalent intellectual property protections as the United States either. “Intellectual property systems differ from country to country. Nations like the United States, Japan, and some European countries enjoy strong, modern approaches to intellectual property that encourage investment and innovation. However, many countries, including Canada, China, and India, embrace IP systems that discourage medical innovation by not providing adequate protections, ultimately diminishing patient access to new treatments and cures.” (Stansel & Bryant, 2022) The original company would not have as much control. It could not only potentially tarnish the original company’s image, but it would also create competition or force the company out of the pharmaceutical market.

Ultimately as a CEO, the decision would be made to share the patent with select countries or drug manufacturers utilizing MPP, or the medicines patent pool. The company would be able to control who receives the information, how it is used, and have oversight of the manufacturing process to ensure quality standards are being met.

“MPP negotiates licenses with patent holders and licenses those patents to multiple manufacturers, who develop the licensed medicine, including new formulations and combinations. The treatments are made available in a defined set of developing countries, sometimes in exchange for royalties. The terms and conditions in MPP licenses seek to improve treatment options for the broadest number of people living in developing countries and are negotiated on a case-by-case basis with each patent holder.” (, 2022)

To protect future research and development of other medications, developed countries would be required to pay for vaccines. Vaccines would be available to low-income and poverty-stricken parts of the world at no cost. The three companies producing COVID vaccines are having a difficult time with meeting the demand, so allowing others to manufacture the vaccine would assist with this. God shows his love for us every day by giving and warns against excessiveness and greed, “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (New King James Bible, 2004, 1 Timothy. 6:18)