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A pandemic-busting drug will come at a price. Here’s how differential pricing can ensure access.

A definitive drug or vaccine against the coronavirus is still a work in progress. But once it becomes a reality, striking a balance between the patent holders’ interests and ensuring access to those who need the drug will pose a challenge. A differential-pricing mechanism involving cross-subsidisation of the developing nations by the developed ones could resolve the issue.
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7 May 2020 7 Mins Read 2 comments
An engineer performs tests on an experimental vaccine for the coronavirus at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing, China. Getty Images
An engineer performs tests on an experimental vaccine for the coronavirus at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing, China.
While countries are keenly focused on flattening the curve of Covid-19 and its economic repercussions, some of the key questions concerned with eradicating Covid-19 are being missed, specifically, the question of global vaccination and the costs associated with it. Thus far, there seems to be no indication of a wonder drug to cure Covid-19. Conceiving a cure has to be
they are not valid in the unique context of Covid-19, making this the best-possible situation for the application of this mechanism. Regulatory bodies as well as patent holders must explore this option for an equitable and just access to public healthcare, especially in the case of Covid-19. ( The authors are final-year students at Jindal Global Law School.)
While countries are keenly focused on flattening the curve of Covid-19 and its economic repercussions, some of the key questions concerned with eradicating Covid-19 are being missed, specifically, the question of global vaccination and the costs associated with it. Thus far, there seems to be no indication of a wonder drug to cure Covid-19. Conceiving a cure has to be they are not valid in the unique context of Covid-19, making this the best-possible situation for the application of this mechanism. Regulatory bodies as well as patent holders must explore this option for an equitable and just access to public healthcare, especially in the case of Covid-19. ( The authors are final-year students at Jindal Global Law School.)

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