August 13, 2022

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Germany opposes to abandon patent protection for COVID-19 vaccine

Germany opposes U.S. proposal to abandon patent protection for COVID-19 vaccine

 

Germany opposes to abandon patent protection for COVID-19 vaccine.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposed the US proposal to abandon patent protection for the COVID-19 vaccine, which puts a question mark on whether the idea can obtain sufficient international support and truly fulfill it.

A German government spokesperson said in an email on Thursday that the US plan would cause “serious trouble” to vaccine production. The industry believes that if there is no profit incentive behind R&D, drugmakers may not actively manufacture vaccines in the future.

After Merkel’s position was announced, vaccine stocks rebounded. Moderna Inc. The decline narrowed from 12% to 2.1%. CureVac NV fell 5.4%, the highest intraday drop reached 13%, BioNTech SE fell 3.5%, after falling 15% before.

The United States, Germany and other countries/regions will debate the exemption of patent protection through the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the next few weeks. In the context of the urgent need to increase production capacity around the world, especially in developing countries, it is difficult for developing countries to obtain large-scale vaccination Conception. Merkel’s position shows that she has sympathy for pharmaceutical manufacturers like BioNTech.

A spokesman for the German government said: “It is production capacity and high-standard quality requirements that limit vaccine production, not patents. Intellectual property protection is the source of innovation, and it must be so in the future.”

Officials and diplomats in Brussels warned that such discussions could take months, and that only some patents may eventually be exempted. It is basically impossible for the EU and the United States to agree to abandon the intellectual property rights of the mRNA technology revolution and hand it over to other countries.

But in any case, most of the world’s poor countries have neither the capacity nor the expertise to produce this advanced vaccine. Officials say the more direct solution is for the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries to follow the example of the European Union and lift restrictions on the export of vaccines to countries in need.

With the increase in vaccinations in the United States and the reduction of the epidemic in recent weeks, especially when the number of deaths and infections from the COVID-19 in India has surged, the White House has been pressured by progressive Democrats and public health advocates to take its stand.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala welcomed the United States’ support for patent exemptions and hoped that countries will make a decision at the organization’s December ministerial meeting.

 

(source:internet, reference only)


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