Ten Covid-19 vaccines could be available by the middle of 2021 if they win regulatory approval, but their inventors need patent protection, the head of the global pharmaceutical industry group said.

The European Commission wants to make it easier for patients to access cheaper generic medicines, a draft EU document seen by Reuters shows, in a move that could cut the revenues of big pharmaceutical firms.

President Donald Trump signed a new executive order aimed at lowering drug prices in the United States by linking them to those of other nations and expanding the scope of a July 2020 action.

Over the past five years, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review pressured drugmakers to lower the cost of nearly 100 drugs. ICER aims to play a similar role with emerging Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the globe, biopharma companies big and small geared up to test experimental drugs and vaccines or to potentially repurpose approved drugs to fight the disease. Many scaled up manufacturing capabilities for pharmaceutical ingredients, existing compounds, and launched clinical trials. Now companies are asking help paying for it and warn that if governments want these therapies to be rolled out quickly and fairly, it’s going to require significant coordination and upfront funding.

U.S. health agencies, the European drug regulator and 16 top drugmakers will collaborate on vaccine and drug development efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. National Institutes of Health said.

Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry are not only a positive for the company that has made a bid for another company, but it is also good for the industry as a whole because of increases in efficiency across the entire field, according to Atlas Venture partner Bruce Booth.

Big pharma has largely gotten out of the antibiotics business, with about 90 percent of research on new antibiotics being conducted by small biotech companies with market caps of less than $100 million, more than half pre-revenue.

Some of the industry’s largest pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer Inc. and Eli Lilly and Co., have developed a blockchain-based system to track prescription drugs across the supply chain to better halt the flow of counterfeit medicines.

Drugmakers including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Gilead Sciences Inc. and Biogen Inc. hiked U.S. list prices on more than 50 drugs to begin 2020, bringing total New Year’s Day drug price increases to more than 250, according to data analyzed by 3 Axis Advisors.