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In a surprising move, the Biden administration has said it will support a controversial proposal to temporarily waive intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines in a bid to increase global supplies of desperately needed doses. The proposal, which was introduced before the World Trade Organization last fall by South Africa and India, would cover patents, industrial designs, copyrights, and protection of trade secrets. Ultimately, a waiver would make it easier for countries that permit compulsory licensing to allow a manufacturer to export vaccines.

The proposal was made amid growing concern that low- and middle-income countries were being left out after wealthy nations reached deals with vaccine makers. Wealthy countries currently account for more than half of nearly 9 billion doses locked up in purchase agreements to date, according to the Duke Global Health Innovation Center. While some middle-income countries, such as Brazil and India, have vaccine development programs, low-income countries lack manufacturing and clinical testing capacity and are unable to participate in the deal-making process.

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  • It seems the Biden administrations and those incompetent eight Democratic senators supporting waiving the patent IP did not do their research.

    If Pfizer offer the vaccine at the cost for poor countries, how does waiving patent help lower the price? It seems India and African government are playing some games to avoid being blame by their people for their incompetent. At least if the vaccine is made by Pfizer or Modern, one can be sure of handling and quality since it is not easy to handle mRNA vaccine. The flu vaccine that was not keep at proper temperature end up killing people in Korea.

    India had patent to Astra Zeneca and Moderna had open its patents for free to anybody. They can make the DNA or mRNA vaccine as they choose.

    The Eight Democratic senators, do your research and stops playing politics. Your stand shows how incompetent you guys for supporting something without doing any research. I am glad Sanders and Warren did not end up as president. That would be a curse to US if they end up as president. The eight Democratic senators asking Biden to waive the patents Ip needs to be voted out of the office for their incompetency.

    What we need is sell at cost or donate vaccine to those countries who can’t afford the vaccine not some political game of waiving the IP that can discourage the pharma to tackle the next pandemic seeing they can lost patent protections.

  • Have other countries, like Brazil, South Africa or India, attempted to make their own successful COVID vaccine? And basically starting from scratch, how long do you estimate that it would take before one of these companies produced their first batch of a quality mRNA vaccine?

    • Hello Krys,

      Thanks for your note. But I’m puzzled by your reaction.

      I’m not assuming others will buy into the proposal. Not sure how you got that impression. I’ve noted objections from the pharmaceutical industry, and other countries, including Germany, where Merkel voiced objections yesterday.

      Hope this helps,
      ed at Pharmalot

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