EU considers intellectual property protected in Covid-19 vaccines

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Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission of the European Union (EU), spoke at the session of the General Assembly of the European Parliament (EP) held in Strasbourg.

Noting that the EU exports almost half of the vaccines it has produced since January, Von der Leyen said: “600 million doses of vaccine have been produced in Europe. We have exported 300 million doses of it to over 90 countries. If all the vaccine manufacturers had taken us as an example, today’s world would have been in a different situation. ”Used his statements.

Von der Leyen explained that vaccine production should be increased both in Europe and other regions, and the necessary technology and technical knowledge transfer should be provided in an emergency.

Recalling that the agreement regulating the intellectual property rights on Kovid-19 vaccines (TRIPS) was recently on the agenda, Von der Leyen said they were ready to “negotiate” this issue.

Von der Leyen explained that the European Commission has submitted its vaccine proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and that the supply chain for vaccines and the production of the products they contain must remain open and restrictions export must be lifted.

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Emphasizing that voluntary licenses for vaccines are the most effective way to increase production, Von der Leyen said: “Let’s be clear, intellectual property must be protected. However, in a global emergency such as an epidemic, compulsory licenses can be a legitimate tool to increase production where voluntary cooperation fails. ”makes his assessment.

The proposal by some countries led by India and the Republic of South Africa to suspend certain provisions of the Agreement Regulating Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of the spread of Kovid-19 epidemic has been put on the agenda in the WTO and negotiations have been initiated on this issue.

The US administration changed its stance on vaccine intellectual property rights in May and supported the idea of ​​removing those rights.

The EU, for its part, said it could be discussed, but that it would not provide a short-term solution, and that investments should be mainly spent on sharing vaccines, exporting vaccines produced and increase in vaccine production capacity. .

While the idea of ​​abolishing intellectual property is supported by the poor and some developing countries, some Western countries and pharmaceutical companies oppose it.

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