24 Sep: Uncertainty around TRIPS waiver. 

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team. 

With the debacle surrounding the global race for a vaccine against Covid-19, and the greed of wealthy nations to have it first, the issue of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, especially relating to health, essential medicines and pharmaceuticals, should be top of the health agenda, and with a caveat, “to be addressed urgently”. Sadly, this is not the case, even in the multilateral fora. 

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), is supposed to cover not only intellectual property rights, but also the rights of …

20 May: Getting a patent waiver is not enough, says WTO chief to Trade Committee

(Source: European Parliament)

Parliament’s Committee on Trade debated on Thursday how to increase vaccine production effectively with WTO Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

In reply to trade committee MEPs’ questions over what measures are needed to accelerate equitable access to vaccines, Dr Okonjo-Iweala argued in favour of expanding vaccine production and ending export restrictions.

She said: “Getting the Intellectual Property rights waiver for vaccines will not be enough”. She listed three other routes: reducing export restrictions and reinforcing supply chains for vaccines, working with manufacturers to expand production, including in emerging countries with idle capacity such as Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand …