WTO approves vaccine-patent waiver to help combat Covid-19 pandemic



via The Straits Times - Jun 17, 2022


GENEVA (BLOOMBERG) - The World Trade Organisation (WTO) approved a politically important deal on Friday (June 17) to water down intellectual property restrictions for the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines after an almost two-year effort involving scores of high-level meetings and much political arm twisting...


... the delivers a significant blow to vaccine manufacturers such as Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, which fought hard to prevent nations from undermining the intellectual-property framework that enabled them to produce multiple viable Covid-19 vaccines in record time – saving countless lives.


“The premise of an intellectual-property waiver for Covid-19 vaccines was flawed from the outset,” said Mr Thomas Cueni, the director-general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations.


“To this day, there is no evidence that IP has been a barrier to Covid-19 vaccine production or access.”


The debate overcame a protracted fight between the United States and China over the Biden administration’s demand that China be clearly excluded from the deal – for fear that it would enable China to steal US technologies...






China backs talks on intellectual property waiver for COVID vaccines


Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Alex Richardson, Reuters

May 13, 2021


BEIJING, May 13 (Reuters) - China's Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that Beijing supports a proposal by the World Trade Organization for an intellectual property protection waiver on COVID-19 vaccines to enter the consultation stage.


British and European Union officials have been sceptical about the usefulness of a U.S. proposal to waive patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, while saying they are prepared to discuss it.


Drugmakers and some other governments opposed the idea, saying it would not solve global inoculation shortages.


"China supports the WTO's proposal on IP exemptions for anti-epidemic materials such as the COVID vaccine to enter the text consultation stage," Gao said at a regular news conference in Beijing...