The introduction of new vaccines into developing countries III. The role of intellectual property

Richard T. Mahoney, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, S. Ramachandran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The development of new vaccines that address the particular needs of developing countries has been proceeding slowly. A number of new public sector vaccine research and development initiatives have been launched to address this problem. These new initiatives find that they often wish to collaborate with the private sector and, in collaborating with the private sector, they must address issues of intellectual property (IP) management. It has not been well understood why IP management is important and how such management by public sector groups can best be conducted. IP management has become very important because vaccine research and development is driven by the regulatory process. The regulatory process has increased the cost of vaccine development to very high levels especially for the highly sophisticated new vaccines currently under development. Thus, investors seek IP protection for the required large investments. Conversely, we assert this concept as a new insight, IP rights are essential for mobilizing the significant funds necessary to meet regulatory requirements. Thus, IP rights are of value not only for investors but also for the public at large. In the absence of public sector mechanisms to carry out the functions that the private sector currently conducts, the public sector needs to increase its sophistication in IP management and needs to identify and implement strategies that will help the public sector to achieve its public health goals, especially for the poor and, among these individuals, the poor in developing countries. This paper suggests some strategies that might be used by the public sector to help achieve its public health goals, especially for the poor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-792
Number of pages7
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jan 26 2004


  • Intellectual property management
  • Private sector
  • Public sector

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