US backs IP rights waiver for Covid vaccines, EU says ready to discuss -Prabha Raghavan and Aanchal Magazine

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published Published on May 7, 2021   modified Modified on May 7, 2021

-The Indian Express

A waiver on IP protections would mean pharmaceutical firms and vaccine makers across the world can learn how to make these vaccines without fear of lawsuits from companies that originally developed them.

In a move that could potentially help increase production of Covid-19 vaccines around the world, the United States on Wednesday announced its support for waiving intellectual property (IP) protections for these vaccines.

Subsequently, the European Union (EU) agreed to discuss such a waiver, after having opposed the proposal made by India and South Africa last year.

A waiver on IP protections would mean pharmaceutical firms and vaccine makers across the world can learn how to make these vaccines without fear of lawsuits from companies that originally developed them.

However, such a waiver can only be enforced if the final proposal, which will have to be reworked through discussions, is accepted by all members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“Countries such as Canada, South Korea, and Bangladesh have all evinced interest in producing Covid vaccines if they have a patent waiver, so we should utilise whatever global capacity is there,” Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) president Prof K Srinath Reddy told The Indian Express.

The discussion on the waiver stems from a broader proposal by India and South Africa on October 2, seeking a waiver on certain conditions of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.

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The Indian Express, 7 May, 2021, https://indianexpress.com/article/coronavirus/us-backs-ip-rights-waiver-for-covid-vaccines-eu-says-ready-to-discuss-7305010/


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