World Bank does not support giving up intellectual property rights with COVID-19 vaccines

World Bank does not support giving up intellectual property rights with COVID-19 vaccines

World Bank President David Malpass said that the World Bank does not support giving up intellectual property rights with COVID-19 vaccines due to concerns that this will hinder innovation in the pharmaceutical sector.

Mr. David Malpass, President of the World Bank (WB)

Responding to a question from the press about the idea of ​​​​freeing intellectual property rights for a COVID-19 vaccine, President Malpass affirmed: “We do not support that, because this risks hindering innovation, research and development. research and development in this area”.

In addition, he also once again called on rich countries to quickly support developing countries with their surplus vaccines.

Earlier, the World Bank raised its forecast for world economic growth to 5.6% in 2021 and 4.3% in 2022.

According to the World Bank, this growth could be higher if vaccination against COVID-19 is promoted in developing countries.

The above statement by President Malpass comes in the context of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on India and South Africa’s initiative regarding the idea of ​​giving up intellectual property rights to COVID-19 vaccine is taking place in Geneva (Switzerland) on June 8-9.

The initiative calls for a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, devices and treatments, and calls on pharmaceutical companies to share their insights and data.

A trade official in Geneva said the negotiating parties remained divided and their views remained essentially unchanged.

In May, US President Joe Biden’s administration announced its support for giving up intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines and would negotiate terms at the WTO.

Announcing this issue, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai emphasized that while intellectual property rights are important to business, Washington supports removing that protection for COVID-19 vaccines. .

Many other countries, including France, India, New Zealand and international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Vaccine Alliance GAVI have welcomed the idea.

However, major pharmaceutical companies objected, saying this would set a precedent that could harm future innovation and innovation, and stressed that the move would not help boost vaccine production.

Meanwhile, the European Commission (EC) outlined a plan that it considers to be a more effective solution to increase the production of COVID-19 vaccines than giving up intellectual property rights and is appropriate. with existing WTO rules.

Accordingly, the EC’s plan consists of three main points. First, remove regulations on export restrictions on vaccines as well as vaccine preparation materials.

Second, vaccine manufacturers and developers need to make specific commitments to increase supply to developing countries that are vulnerable to the pandemic, and that the cost of the vaccine supply is equal to the input cost.

Third, manufacturers can manufacture vaccines without the approval of patent holders only if they are licensed by the competent authorities of that country.