Covid-19 vaccines: EU ignores India, S Africa’s patent waiver plea at WTO

Synopsis: The European Union has presented a declaration to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that overlooks the goals of India and South Africa’s combined request for an intellectual property (IP) waiver on Covid-19 pharmaceuticals and vaccines. 


Despite the fact that the waiver idea has the support of over 100 countries, the EU has been opposing it for the past eight months. 

What is the issue surrounding the waiver? 
  • Firstly, if adopted, the waiver will give countries critical policy flexibility to eliminate IP hurdles, allowing them to collaborate more in R&D, manufacturing, and scale-up, and thereby improve the availability of Covid medicines and vaccines. 
  • Secondly, the EU proclamation is being seen as a diversionary technique, since it asserts its position of implementing relevant policies under the WTO’s TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement during the pandemic. 
  • The EU reaffirmed the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, urging nations to facilitate the use of compulsory licencing. 
  • Thirdly, this might delay the progress of reaching an agreement on the waiver. Waiver is important to address the inequalities in access to Covid vaccines. 

Source: Click here 

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