I read the local propaganda paper here in Saudi Arabia this morning, and was surprised to see that the normally oh-so-community-minded pharma industry has patented the Novel Coronavirus which is causing problems, especially here in Saudi Arabia. If the paper is to be believed, Labs which wish to work on finding a cure, or even understanding the virus must work with or around the patent that someone has whacked on the virus.
If this is true – WTF? I get that isolating it, making it lab friendly and so on is probably costly, and the lab behind it deserves recognition and monetary recompense, but how has no-one stepped in ‘for the good of humanity’?
If I were a government, I’d make it mandatory that all viruses belong to the state so to speak, and providing them to labs should be a government responsibility. It would easily pay for itself – as the lab that successfully creates a vaccine, and then will go on to sell it for gazillions of £££ can at that point provide a licence fee back to the state. The point is, the virus should be freely available for everyone. Like Big Data, only with viruses.
As you can tell, it’s an area I clearly know nothing about. I just needed to vent.