Pending Snowstorm; No In-Person Activities Sat, Jan. 29. Law Library will be closed. More info

Innovation Policy Colloquium


Professors Rochelle Dreyfuss and Katherine Strandburg
Spring 2022
Wednesdays, 2:10-4:10 pm, Furman Hall, Room 318
Thursdays, 4:00-6:00 pm, Vanderbilt Hall, Room 208

3 credits

The Colloquium on Innovation Policy focuses each year on different aspects of the law’s role in promoting creativity, invention, and new technology. This year, we will examine innovation in the health care field, looking at such matters as the relationship between intellectual property, encouraging medical advances, and assuring appropriate public access to these advances; the special problem of developing countries; and competition issues related to innovation and intellectual property.  We will mostly consider these questions through the lens of the COVID pandemic.

Spring 2022 Schedule of Presenters

Thursday, JANUARY 27 https://nyu.zoom.us/j/96085577642
Siva Thambisetty, LSE Law School, London School of Economics and Political Science
Addressing Vaccine Inequity During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The TRIPS Intellectual Property Waiver Proposal & Beyond
Private Ordering and the TRIPS Waiver: A Critical Blind Spot in the Debate
Abstract: Addressing Vaccine Inequity examines global vaccine inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic. We critique intellectual property (IP) law under the 1995 WTO TRIPS Agreement, and specifically, the role that IP plays in enabling the inequities of production, distribution and pricing in the COVID-19 vaccine context. Given the failure of international response mechanisms, including COVAX and C-TAP, to address vaccine inequity, we argue the TRIPS waiver proposal offers a necessary and proportionate legal measure for clearing IP barriers that cannot be achieved by TRIPS flexibilities. Finally, we reflect on the waiver in the wider context of TRIPS, addressing TRIPS’ successes and failures. Private Ordering and the TRIPS Waiver is a work in progress that discusses the plea for TRIPS waiver as a plea for greater degrees of transnational private ordering to emerge to meet public health goals.

Thursday, FEBRUARY 3 https://nyu.zoom.us/j/98062745789
Ana Santos Rutschman, Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law
Aligning Vaccine Innovation with Public Health Needs - Introduction and Chapter 5

Abstract: According to longstanding scientific consensus, vaccines are widely regarded as playing a fundamental role in public health. Therefore, one would reasonably expect that the dynamics of vaccine production and distribution would place a premium on incentivizing robust levels of investment in vaccine development, with the allocation of resulting vaccine occurring in ways that reflect public health priorities. Yet, that is often not the case. This book examines this disjunction from the viewpoint of the laws, policies and other market-driven forces that shape the development and distribution of vaccines. Together, these mechanisms have long led to problems of under-investment in vaccine research and production, and inequitable allocation of limited vaccine supply in ways that recurrently disadvantage lower-income populations.

Thursday, FEBRUARY 10 https://nyu.zoom.us/j/93148979767
Rachel Sachs, Visitor, NYU School of Law, Spring 2022; Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
The Accidental Innovation Policymakers

Abstract: Healthcare policymakers in the United States, particularly at the federal level, have been considering a range of proposals that would lower prices for prescription drugs. The pharmaceutical industry and many politicians have argued that these proposals would harm innovation incentives, resulting in fewer new drugs coming to market in the future. This Article identifies and explores a key problem with this argument: that it is typically deployed both accidentally and asymmetrically in nature. Specifically, this Article considers previous changes to health laws that had the impact of increasing innovation incentives by providing large new subsidies to pharmaceutical companies—chiefly the creation of Medicare Part D and the passage of the Affordable Care Act—but where policymakers appear not to have analyzed these innovation-related aspects of the new laws. By contrasting these laws with others in which policymakers explicitly centered the innovation-related impacts of their actions, such as the Hatch-Waxman Act and the Orphan Drug Act, this Article suggests that policymakers may in some cases be making innovation policy “by accident,” without knowledge of their likely results. These innovation arguments are also deployed asymmetrically by interested stakeholders, creating the potential for unbalanced policymaking over time. This Article further analyzes the implications of this accidental, asymmetric policymaking for innovation law and policy.

Wednesday, MARCH 9
Christopher Morten, Science, Health, and Information Clinic, Columbia Law School

Thursday, March 24
Michael Mattioli
, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University

Thursday, MARCH 31
Nicholson Price
, University of Michigan Law School

Thursday, APRIL 7
John Liddicoat, Medtronic

Wednesday, APRIL 13
Peter Lee,
UC Davis School of Law

Questions about the Colloquium should be addressed to Nicole Arzt at nicole.arzt@nyu.edu.