Radical Imagination

Democratizing Patents: Vaccines For All

As Covid-19 continues to sweep the world and most countries, especially in the Global South, struggle to access vaccines, Radical Imagination takes a fresh look at how the US patent system keeps billions of people at home and abroad from obtaining life-saving medicines. Since our first episode on this topic, early in the pandemic, the situation has become more dire. In India, one of the world’s largest vaccine producers, almost nobody had access to the Covid vaccine last spring, when the virus began tearing through the country. The idea behind patents is to allow companies to protect the time and money they invest in developing drugs and vaccines. In reality, companies profit astronomically while people die because they can’t afford or obtain treatment.  Host Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with lawyer and activist Priti Krishtel, a leader of a global movement to change the patent system and ensure access to medicine for all. We also hear from Leena Menghaney, South Asia head of the Doctors Without Borders Access Campaign.