WTO on the verge of ending patents for antiviral vaccines – Business and Politics

Sources close to negotiations at the twelfth ministerial conference of the World Organization confirmed today, Thursday, that the agreement to suspend patents for antiviral vaccines so that they can be produced in developing countries, which was negotiated nearly 20 months ago, is about to expire. . Trade (WTO).

The said agreement, according to the draft negotiated by delegations until the early hours of the day and which is still under discussion, The patent will be allowed to be used “without the rights holder’s consent” to “deal with the Covid pandemic”.

The duration of this patent hold has not yet been determined. (Draft changes three to ten year probabilities)and it seems unlikely that it will also apply to treatments and tests, something that was requested in the initial proposal (submitted by India and South Africa in October 2020).

In any case, The paragraph of text that generates the most controversy is the one that states that a WTO member country cannot take advantage of this patent suspension if its vaccine exports exceed 10% of the global total.

This will affect China, whose delegation promised not to use this facility, but at the same time does not want an explicit ban to appear in the text of the agreement.|

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