WTO nears agreement to suspend patents on Covid-19 vaccine

Covid Vaccine-12.| Photo: Pixabay

The agreement to suspend patents on vaccines against Covid- , so that they can be produced in developing countries and which has been traded for almost 20 months, is close to being closed, as they said this Thursday (16) sources close to the current negotiations 2020 th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The aforementioned agreement, according to the project that is still being discussed, would allow the use of the patent “without the consent of the holder of the rights” with the purpose of “confronting the pandemic of Covid”. The duration of this patent suspension has not yet been specified (the draft considers possibilities ranging from three to ten years), and it seems ruled out that it will also be applied to treatments and tests, something that was requested in the initial proposal, presented by India and South Africa. South in October 2020.

The paragraph of the text that generates the most divergences is the one that indicates that a WTO member country cannot benefit from this patent suspension if its vaccine exports exceed 10% of the world total. This would affect China, whose delegation promised not to use this facility, but at the same time does not want an express ban to appear in the text of the agreement.

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