Pandemic Treaty Could Have IP & Other Implications For Pharma
Early Days But WHO Is Hoping For Wide-Ranging Change
Equitable access to pandemic medicines and vaccines will be at the core of the WHO’s future global pandemic treaty. Exactly what this will mean for the pharmaceutical industry remains to be seen, but it is likely that companies wanting access to virus samples and other materials will need to agree to benefit sharing in the form of IP and technology transfer.
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The World Health Organization’s BioHub project is gathering momentum, with the spotlight on the equitable and timely sharing of viruses and other biological materials to develop medical products for use in future health emergencies such as a pandemic. But while its objectives are lauded by many, concerns have been raised about the intellectual property implications of the project.
Amid growing concern over the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, member states of the WHO are gathering this week to discuss the negotiation of a convention on future pandemic preparedness and response, with access to medical countermeasures on the agenda. A parallel WTO ministerial meeting that would have discussed the proposed TRIPS IP waiver has been postponed until further notice.
Coronavirus Notebook: Australia OKs Paxlovid, Lagevrio & Nuvaxovid, New Sputnik Data Show ‘Strong Protection’ Against Omicron
International regulators have broadened their discussions on the possible use of bivalent and multivalent vaccines, and the French presidency of the Council of the EU has called for “international solidarity” on vaccine provision.