In this issue

Issue 109 • August 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has reignited a hotly debated issue among pharma companies: patents. While there are now multiple vaccine options on the market, access has been relatively limited for those living in lower-income nations. To speed up vaccination efforts in these areas, a group of nations including India and South Africa have called for drugmakers to temporarily waive their intellectual property (IP) rights to Covid-19 vaccines.

While advocates of the move argue that, if permitted, an IP waiver would allow vaccine makers in poorer countries to produce jabs without risking legal action, critics are not convinced that changing patent law would have a significant impact on the number of vaccinations being administered. But what could a patent waiver actually mean for drugmakers? We find out.  

Staying with the topic of vaccines, we examine the reasons why the chickenpox vaccine is absent from the roster of childhood vaccines in the UK despite being a part of routine jabs in the US since 1995. 

Plus, we investigate the growing health threat of black fungus in India to understand why the number of cases has soared alongside Covid-19 and what pharma companies are doing to fight it, and find out how algae proteins are being used to improve the sight of visually impaired patients. 

All this and more in this latest issue of Pharma Technology Focus.

Eloise Mclennan, editor