The United States announced that it supports lifting the intellectual property protection for Covid vaccines, to accelerate the production and distribution of doses around the world. American Trade Representative Catherine Tay said in a statement, “This is a global health crisis, and the exceptional circumstances of the epidemic call for exceptional measures,” noting that Washington is participating “actively” in the ongoing negotiations at the World Trade Organization.
Tai stressed that “the administration firmly believes in protecting intellectual property, but to put an end to this epidemic, it supports the abolition of some forms of protection for Covid-19 vaccines.” White House spokeswoman Gene Saki expected Joe Biden to be in favor of this cancellation and Biden himself has said he will speak about it in the next few hours.
The US decision to suspend patents for a Covid vaccine is “disappointing”. This is what the Geneva-based International Federation of Pharmaceutical Companies, Ifpma, claims. “We fully agree with the goal of rapidly and fairly distributing vaccines around the world. But as we have repeated many times, commentary is a simple but wrong solution to a complex problem,” reads a statement.
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