By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Rebecca Robbins
Last week, the advocacy group Public Citizen wrote to Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the N.I.H., urging him “to publicly clarify the role of the N.I.H. in the invention of the vaccine” and to explain what he intended to do “to ensure the contributions of federal scientists are fully recognized.” The group has not gotten a response.
“It’s not just about bragging rights,” said Zain Rizvi, a drug policy expert at Public Citizen who researched Moderna’s patent filings. “It’s also about supply. Patents are development monopolies, and in a pandemic it is a terrible idea to have a private corporation have a monopoly on part of a lifesaving technology.”
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