Journal Title

New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy





First Page


Document Type


Publication Information



On March 15, 2022, the United States, European Union, India, and South Africa reached an agreement on the waiver of intellectual property rights (IP rights) for COVID-19 vaccines. The waiver agreement has rekindled the debate on the balance between IP rights protection and equitable access to medicines during a public health crisis. India, South Africa, and other developing countries maintain that a waiver was the only way to make vaccines affordable and accessible. Leading pharmaceutical companies argue that the waiver will stifle innovation and make lifesaving medicines less accessible. Both sides have seemingly overlooked Pfizer's voluntary agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to share the IP rights for Paxlovid, the company's highly effective COVID-19 medicine. Based on a careful examination of Pfizer's agreement, this Article argues that the MPP presents an effective alternative to the waiver approach and concludes that the Pfizer- MPP model has the potential to reach an equilibrium between access and innovation

Recommended Citation

Chenglin Liu, Beyond Compulsory Licensing: Pfizer Shares Its COVID-19 Medicines with the Patent Pool, 25 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol'y 1 (2022).



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.