The coronavirus pandemic has rekindled the global debate on whether the multilateral trade regime for intellectual property rights (IPR) protection limits access to essential medical products. Despite embedded flexibilities in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), India and South Africa, co-sponsored by a large number of developing countries, submitted an initial proposal for a temporary waiver in response to Covid-19 in October 2020, which was met with divided opinions. On 25 May 2021, a revised proposal was tabled for the consideration of the ‘TRIPS Council’ on 8-9 June 2021. The US administration voiced its support for a vaccines waiver, while EU leaders indicated an openness to discussion, and highlighted the mounting support for the ‘third way’ public-private partnership proposal.
Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP