Pressure Mounts On EU To Follow US In Backing COVID-19 Vaccine IP Waiver
European Industry Bodies Go On The Offensive
The pharmaceutical industry in Europe has attacked the US decision to come out in support of a relaxation of IP rights that is designed to boost global production of COVID-19 vaccines. But the move by the Biden administration could well cause other countries to rethink their opposition to the move.
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The European Commission is to present the World Health Organization with a set of proposals to tackle the barriers to the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. They include allowing the issue of compulsory licenses without consulting the rights holder, encouraging vaccine companies to expand production through licensing deals and contract manufacturing, and eliminating vaccine export restrictions.
IP experts share views on a range of critical issues around the proposed US-backed patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines. Proprietary materials once public can’t be pulled back, one cautioned, while others indicated the waiver risk may be the stick that pushes companies to toe the tech transfer line.
Calls grow for a relaxation of IP on COVID-19 vaccines as interest groups pile the pressure on the UK government and the Pope gives his blessing to the proposed waiver.