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U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is in the process of taking over the patent rights for a key Ebola vaccine from a private company and he’s concerned.
Blunt’s spokesperson Amy Phillips told Fox News Radio’s Guy Benson, “The life threatening situation of Ebola has spurred the federal government to develop a vaccine, and we want to see one make it onto American pharmacy shelves. A private company that had invested heavily in developing a compound is leaving us with only two companies in the world with access to the vaccine for a delay in taking ownership of it and the ability to sell it to the rest of the world.”
Diane Ravitch, American Teacher, Author, Higher Education Reformer, and Senior Scholar at NYU’s Furman Center, said she’s also concerned: “Senator Blunt, my concerns aren’t that people might try to patent this vaccine, but that he wants to make sure that the outcome of this is that we have the best vaccine to give to people. So as biotech companies grow, they grow, they get bigger, they get more money, and they have more business. It was very wise for President Clinton to sign the patent bill into law in the early 1990s that protected and ensured that the prize of success comes with the profits.”
Phillips also weighed in: “Senator Blunt is not sitting on the sidelines. He and the President have met with the minister of health of Guinea to discuss how best we can help make vaccines available and the Department of Health and Human Services is working closely with the National Institutes of Health and its field station in West Africa to keep using their expertise to prepare and administer vaccines.”