Acceso a vacunas y medicamentos patentados en tiempos de emergencia sanitaria (COVID-19)

  1. Fernando Carbajo Cascón 1
  2. Andrés Trujillo Jiménez 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Salamanca

    Universidad de Salamanca

    Salamanca, España


La Ley mercantil

ISSN: 2341-4537

Year of publication: 2021

Issue: 77

Type: Article

More publications in: La Ley mercantil


The global health emergency caused by COVID-19 calls into question, once again, the reasonable balance between private and public interests in the patent system, showing the imbalance between its social costs and benefits when public health and, by extension, economic and social stability are in jeopardy. The supply problems of vaccines and therapeutic drugs cast doubt upon the ability of the pharmaceutical industry to provide an efficient market response to the global problem caused by the pandemic, reactivating the debate on the opportunity to resort to the mechanism of compulsory licensing for reasons of public interest and even to more drastic solutions such as the temporary release of patents for the duration of the emergency situation. In addition to the problem of patent rights, there is also the problem of the temporary exclusivity of the clinical data developed to request marketing authorization for substances and drugs, whose availability is also essential if access to patented drugs is to be facilitated in order to increase manufacturing and supply to the population as a whole. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus crisis should also serve to rethink the social contract by which patent rights are granted, considering regulatory reforms with a view to the near future.