The pharmaceutical industry is dominated by multinational pharmaceutical companies. The drugs and vaccines they develop are subject to patents and the marketing authority for the products for 20 years after the patent expires. Companies have the right to price their medicines and market them in the countries of their choice. Under the patent law of India, we could produce generic drugs at cheaper prices by substituting patent medicines with another method of production. But with the introduction of the TRIPS system in 2005, the product patent system came into existence. This resulted in the loss of the right to manufacture generic drugs. Drug prices are soaring all over the world.
Patent and crisis
Due to the patenting of not only pharmaceuticals but also medical devices and biotechnologies, their benefits are not available to consumers in the developing world. The PCR technique, which is used for Covid’s diagnosis and many other researches, was developed by American scientist Nobel laureate Carrie Mullis and colleagues, but was patented by the multinational corporation, Seetus Corporation, for funding the research. Only now that the patent has expired, many other companies can manufacture PCR equipment and market it at a lower price. Many companies have patented the genetic makeup of the disease. Genetic information is needed to identify the antibiotic against the disease. Patent companies will only provide genetically engineered information if they pay a large sum of royalty. As a result, the price of antibiotics goes up.
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Not only is the price of health products rising, but it is the crisis that creates the patent system. MNCs do not have access to funding for research and discovery of drugs and technologies needed to diagnose and treat diseases affecting the developing and developing countries. Many diseases are being neglected. Patents and continued monopolization are creating a major crisis for the healthcare industry.
The philosophy of free software
It is in this context that new popular research initiatives have been launched in the field of health research, inspired by the philosophy of free software. The new public copyright law was enacted by Richard Matthew Stallman, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute for the General Public License, replacing private copyright law.
The consumer has no right to share personal software with others. Software source code cannot be modified due to lack of a source code. But the software does not only make it available to customers, but also gives them the right to copy and share the software with others. The philosophy of free software proposes the basic principles of freedom, cooperation and sharing.
Lawrence Lawrence, professor of law at Stanford University, has introduced a new copyright law called Creative Commons, based on the philosophy of free software. The Creative Commons copyright law aims to provide anyone with an interest in the nonprofit the creative work and scientific information by acknowledging the role of the creator and identifying the creator. Software that follows the principles of the General Public License and the Creative Commons is also referred to as open source software.
Open Source Drug Discovery
A number of initiatives have been launched on the basis of open source philosophy for healthcare research and product development. One of the major open source Drug Discovery (OSDD) initiatives has been started by many countries. OSDD serves as a basis for transparency and collaboration so that anyone interested in medicine can contribute. Research is being done through OSDD to find drugs for overlooked illnesses that are not of interest to major pharmaceutical companies. During the tenure of the UPA Government, the OSDD project was initiated in India under the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) for the detection of drug for tuberculosis in India. The university departments of Kerala and others have cooperated in this regard. However, the NDA government has withdrawn financial support for the scheme.
Into popular research initiatives
Several other countries have initiated pharmaceutical research projects based on OSDD. A program called Collaborative Drug Discovery has been launched in California to provide information on biochemical research to web-based public research agencies. Australia’s voluntary organization in the cabin (Cambia) bed’dhikasvattavakasaniyamannalumayi related information of interest to researchers and research institutions to obtain a patent for the lens of the iniserriv for Open Innovation ((Patent Lens Initiative For Open Innovation) have now started the project. Reagannalkkavasyamaya vikasippiccetuk drugs found in tropical countries, Unnatinulla the basic genetic information in the collection, leakareagyasanghatanayum UNICEF started a joint project with targeted tidi’ar (TDR Targets). Sahayakarannalaya janitakaghatakannal to find treatments Chagas disease, African countries must be found (Drug Targets) has determined that as part of this project. Oxford, UK, Canada, Toronto, Swirl The Structural Genomics Consortium, jointly established by universities in Karolinska, Switzerland, is a project to analyze the three-dimensional structure of biologically important cartilage molecules through a public website.
Open source code movement
With the spread of Covid, ideas and projects based on open source philosophy are strengthening. It is led by Open Source Pharma Foundation, which works with Malayalee scientists. The Foundation points out that in the market-based permanent market model, the health products needed for the control of Covid cannot be developed without delay and without repetition. The open source movement stands for transparent, open science, information, and collaboration. The cost of collaborative research can be low, and the priority can be determined by considering the underlying medical conditions. Open source movements are the only health care of the world’s people in the place of market interests. Funding for open source research is funded by international organizations and universities, such as the World Health Organization, through crowdsourcing and generous donations.
The open source Kovid movement is focused on testing, monitoring, and medicine research for control of the cavity. The open source Covid community in many countries has begun plans to adopt cost effective and technologically sound testing methods for diagnosis. Probes and primers for the Health Care Clinical Virology Laboratory PCR Test at Stanford University in the United States have been developed to meet open source criteria. The worldwide shortage of PCR test kits is expected to be remedied with the availability of Stanford kits.
Privacy can be monitored without loss
Open source activists in many countries are trying to find software to track people with Covid via mobile phone without losing privacy. In collaboration with the European Vaccine Initiative and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, the OpenSource Pharma Foundation has started research on Covid vaccine discovery. And clinical trials to determine which covid treatment may be useful in antiviral drugs used for other diseases. The Foundation is also attempting to find Ayurvedic remedies that can be used to treat Kovid with the help of artificial intelligence. The open source Kovid movement is also working on large scale mask production, analysis of Kovid related information and health education.
Open Cowid Collective
The Open Source Coalition, founded by international lawyers and researchers, has launched several notable initiatives. The Open Covidi Coalition has proposed the Patent Pool, which is a patent pool that publishes patents on health products, licenses them to manufacture and sells them to interested parties. But this does not mean that the patent company will have to pay royalties. എങ്കിലും ഒറ്റകമ്പനി മാത്രം ഉല്പാദനം നടത്തുന്ന കുത്തക വിപണന രീതി അവസാനിപ്പിക്കാനും ഉല്പന്നങ്ങളുടെ വില ഒരു പരിധി വരെ കുറക്കാനും പേറ്റന്റ് പൂൾ രീതി സഹായിക്കും. ഓപ്പൺ കോവിഡ് പ്ലഡ്ജ് (Open Covid Pledge: ഓപ്പൺ കോവിഡ് പ്രതിജ്ഞ) എന്നതാണ് ഓപ്പൺ കോവിഡ് കൂട്ടായ്മയുടെ മറ്റൊരു സംരംഭം. ഇന്റൽ, മൈക്രോസോഫ്റ്റ് , ഹൂലറ്റ് പാക്കാർഡ്, ഫേസ് ബുക്ക്, ആമസോൺ, ഫേസ്ബുക്ക്, യൂബർ തുടങ്ങിയ കമ്പനികൾ തങ്ങളുടെ പേറ്റന്റ് അവകാശം കോവിഡ് നിയന്ത്രണത്തിനായി വിട്ട് നൽകാമെന്ന പ്രതിജ്ഞയിൽ പങ്കാളികളായിട്ടുണ്ട്.
ഓപ്പൺ സോഴ്സ് കോവിഡ് പ്രസ്ഥാനം നിരവധി രാജ്യങ്ങളിൽ വ്യത്യസ്ത കൂട്ടായ്മമകളിലൂടെ മുതലാളിത്ത കുത്തകവൽക്കരണത്തിനെതിരെ പരസ്പര സഹകരണത്തിന്റെയും പങ്കിടീലിന്റെയും അടിസ്ഥാനത്തിൽ കോവിഡ് നിയന്ത്രണം എന്ന സന്ദേശം ശക്തമായി പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കുകയും നിയന്ത്രണത്തിനാവശ്യമായ നിരവധി ആരോഗ്യ ഉല്പന്നങ്ങൾ ഗവേഷണം ചെയ്ത് കണ്ടെത്തുന്നതിനുള്ള സംരംഭങ്ങൾക്ക് നേതൃത്വം നൽകയും ചെയ്തുവരുന്നു.