India and others push for TRIPS waiver beyond Covid vaccine at WTO
In an effort to move to text-based discussions on their proposal to waive certain provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), India and South Africa have decided to make their waiver request more specific by stating that it should focus on “health products and technologies”.
India is one of 62 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) pushing this project, which limits the waiver period to three years, with a provision to review the duration. However, the proposal continues to push for a waiver on a larger segment of products as opposed to just Covid-19 vaccines – products the United States and the European Union have agreed to consider for a property rights waiver. intellectual during the current pandemic.
“The co-authors stress that the proposed exemption has a scope limited to the prevention, treatment and containment of Covid-19”, indicates the draft distributed by the WTO secretariat on May 21.
The revised proposal aims to increase global access to several essential medical products to help countries fight the contagious virus more effectively with affordable and accessible tools.
In addition to India and South Africa, the co-sponsors include the African Group, the LDC Group, Bolivia, Egypt, the Eswatini, Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, the Maldives, Mozambique, Mongolia, Namibia, Pakistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Members stated that the draft proposal had been revised to add specificity to the text of the original decision, which was considered broad in scope.
Regarding the rationale for adding a proposed duration paragraph in the revised text, the co-sponsors said the international community was dealing with a new pathogen, with many uncertainties.
“For example, research is still ongoing for effective treatments, and there are still many unknowns regarding vaccines that will affect the scale of manufacture and supply that will be required to control the pandemic, such as the length of time. of the immunity conferred, the effectiveness of vaccines against new variants and the effect of vaccines on children… These complexities suggest the need for a practical and flexible duration, ”notes the proposal.