The Proposal to the WTO for a New Patent Waiver on COVID-19 Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals: Is it Necessary under TRIPS?

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Abstract

This article is based in the context of a patent waiver proposal for COVID-19 vaccines, medicines, diagnostics, and medical technologies placed at the WTO TRIPS Council. Most developed countries oppose it, and it is highly unlikely that WTO Members will be able to reach a consensus on this issue. But finding a legal answer on the necessity of such a waiver is the main objective of this study. It examines the existing flexibilities under TRIPS, appraises the recent developments and national measures taken by both developed and developing countries to access COVID-19 pharmaceuticals. It concludes that the existing parameters of intellectual property rights flexibilities under TRIPS may be inadequate for equitable access to COVID-19 life-saving medicines. Even if WTO Members disapprove a new patent waiver, further clarification of some TRIPS flexibilities is essential for quick, global, and equal access to these COVID-19 pharmaceuticals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Intellectual Property Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Mar 2021

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