Biden urged to keep patent protections for Covid vaccines
US business groups, including pharma industry lobbyists, are urging the Biden administration to resist pressure from developing nations to suspend intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines.
A measure to allow countries to temporarily override patent rights for Covid-related medical products was proposed at the World Trade Organization by India and South Africa last October, and has since been backed by nearly 60 countries.
The US Chamber of Commerce, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and other business groups argue that waiving IP protections would be “problematic” and that countries supporting the waiver “claimed, without evidence, that it would advance public health”.
“This waiver is as vague as it is broad, removing patent, industrial designs, copyright, and trade secret protection for any products and services so long as they can be tied to Covid-19,” the groups said.
The US has previously opposed the waiver, along with the UK, European Union, and Switzerland.
Adam Hodge, spokesperson for the US trade representative’s office, on Monday said the “top priority” for the US was ending the pandemic around the world.
“As part of rebuilding our alliances, we are exploring every avenue to co-ordinate with our global partners and are evaluating the efficacy of this specific proposal by its true potential to save lives,” he said.
Earlier this month, several Democratic US lawmakers, including Earl Blumenauer, Rosa DeLauro and Jan Schakowsky, urged the Biden administration to support a temporary waiver of IP rights.
The debate at the WTO about whether to temporarily waive IP protections comes amid concerns that rich countries are vaccinating their populations significantly faster than developing economies, which have struggled to obtain the required doses.
Business groups and some trade experts have argued that rapidly scaling-up manufacturing capacity presented a bigger barrier to boosting vaccine supply than patents.
The business groups on Monday said: “We strongly support the administration’s global leadership and collaboration with key global vaccine mechanisms, consistent focus on efforts to identify and eliminate the real barriers to end the pandemic and ensure faster global vaccination, and continued efforts to oppose this waiver.”
My name is Michelle, have worked for the Technology market industry for 4 years. Technology news grasp my attention the most. In early days, I started my journey with an ordinary author. Moving forward with great hard work and passion I achieve a higher position.
- A 3rd National Lockdown Seems Likely in France as Hospitals Are Overwhelmed
- Cockpit Recorder From Indonesian Crash Is Finally Recovered
- Tropical Forest Destruction Accelerated in 2020
- State Dept. Reverses Trump Policies on Reproductive and Religious Freedoms
- More Eager for Covid Vaccine but Skeptics Remain, U.S. Poll Says