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Opinion

Collaborative IP strategies for publicly funded R&D needed now and for the future

By Karima Bawa and Myra Tawfik      

There is little doubt that IP, especially patents, should not be an impediment to forging solutions to the global crisis that we are all facing. It is important that Canada’s policy-makers continue to explore models for facilitating collaborative development and access to essential medicines, treatments, technologies and other innovations.

IP rights have sparked global discourse, especially in the area of patents, because they apply to everything from the medications and respirators for those who are sick, to the protective equipment required by health-care workers, to the vaccine(s) which we will all, ultimately, require, write Karima Bawa and Myra Tawfik. Image courtesy of Pixabay

It has been said that a crisis brings out the best and the worst in people. This pandemic is no different. So many people and so many nations have come together in hopes of finding solutions more quickly by sharing and pooling their resources. They have clearly put the collective good ahead of their own interests. However, others have acted with myopic and unconscionable self-interest, seeking to take advantage of a crisis to further their own agendas. These contrasting behaviours are most prominently displayed in the realm of intellectual property (“IP”).

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