Kerrigan in the International Business Times: Vaccines are Saving Small Business

By at 5 April, 2021, 6:52 pm

In an April 4 Op-ed in the International Business Times, SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan provides a snapshot on the current state of small business, and how vaccines are playing a critical role in driving momentum for economic recovery on Main Street. In the piece, she notes the importance of sound policies that have allowed the COVID-19 vaccines to come to market very rapidly and the need for our elected leaders to understand these policies to make the right choices for the future. Kerrigan lists three key policy pillars in the Op-ed:

One is the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act. It promotes technology transfer from academia to the private sector by letting universities own and license patents on discoveries made with help from federal grants. Prior to the law, the government retained the patents on any innovative ideas that arose from federally funded research. By giving universities the right, and incentive, to license their researchers’ discoveries to private companies, the law has spurred the creation of countless startups.

Another important tenet is allowing companies to price products without government restrictions, which encourages risk-taking and the sizable level of investment it takes to bring a drug or treatment to market.

Finally, stringent protections on intellectual property, including patents, give investors and innovators the confidence they need to make large bets — in terms of financial investment and human capital — on long-shot drug research.

She argues that efforts aimed at weakening IP protections and imposing price controls are terribly misguided: “If we torpedo our current system, the lockdowns we face when the next pandemic rolls around could last much longer.”

Read the full piece here.



News and Media Releases