In an article in the International Business Times, BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath outlines the problems with a proposed international IP waiver for COVID-19 vaccines.
“The United States has reportedly lent its support to a multilateral agreement to waive intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines. Proponents of the waiver would have us believe this will get more people vaccinated more quickly. In fact, it will do nothing of the sort,” she writes.
“The leaked text is purportedly part of a compromise between the U.S., the European Union, India, and South Africa. If it becomes international law, it will strip away the very legal protections that made it possible for U.S. and European companies to develop life-saving vaccines in record time.
“That will leave us ill-prepared for the next pandemic. Worse, an IP waiver does nothing to address the very real barriers to vaccine access in developing countries, which we urgently need to solve if we want to end this pandemic.
“The fact is, the developing world is awash in COVID-19 vaccines. Africa’s top public health authority recently asked international groups to temporarily pause vaccine donations, because the continent already has a glut of shots and additional doses would likely expire unused.”