EU doubts US plan to give up intellectual property rights – fr

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EU doubts US plan to give up intellectual property rights – fr


French President Emmanuel Macron gives a press conference during the European Social Summit organized by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union at the Palacio de Cristal in Porto.
JOSE COELHO | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – EU leaders doubt that waiving intellectual property rights to Covid-19 vaccines, a proposal recently backed by the United States, is the way forward.
Instead, they criticized the United States for not exporting Covid plans.

“It’s not really a question of intellectual property rights. You can give the intellectual property to laboratories that do not know how to produce (the vaccine) and they will not be able to produce it overnight, ”French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters. Friday before a European meeting, according to CNBC Translation.

In the meantime, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said: “I have already made it clear here that I do not believe that patenting is the solution to provide vaccines to more people. “

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday welcomed the US decision to support patent waivers on vaccines.

“It’s a good initiative, but I don’t think it’s enough,” he said in Porto, Portugal, while also pleading for an increase in production and distribution.

President Joe Biden surprised his European counterparts last week by announcing that the US administration was in favor of lifting intellectual property rights for Covid vaccines, citing the “extraordinary circumstances” of the pandemic.

Health experts, human rights groups and international medical charities say relinquishing intellectual property rights is critical to urgently tackle the global vaccine shortage amid the crisis. pandemic and ultimately avoid prolonging the health crisis. Vaccine makers, however, say this could disrupt the flow of raw materials, while also leading to less investment in health research from smaller biotech innovators.

Today, 100% of vaccines produced in the United States of America are destined for the American market.

Emmanuel Macron

President of France

India and South Africa initially submitted a joint proposal to waive intellectual property rights over Covid vaccines to the World Trade Organization in October. The proposal, known as the TRIPS waiver, has been blocked by a handful of high-income countries, such as the UK, Switzerland, Japan, Norway, Canada, Australia, Brazil, the EU and – until last week – the United States.

Frenchman Macron insisted that the best way to increase global vaccination rates is for vaccine-producing countries to step up their exports.

“Today the Anglo-Saxons are blocking a lot of these ingredients and vaccines. Today, 100% of vaccines produced in the United States of America go to the American market, ”he said, adding that Europeans“ are the most generous ”. on this front.

The United States does not have an outright ban on Covid vaccine exports, but it uses the legislation to ensure that domestically produced vaccines are only sent overseas when it is established that there is doses sufficient to inoculate the American population.

The latest data from the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, shows that of the 400 million doses produced in the block so far, 200 million have been exported to 90 different countries.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also said that exporting vaccines “is the best way at the moment, in the short term, to tackle the bottlenecks and the lack of vaccines in the world. “.

“We need to be open to this discussion. We should also, for example, take a close look at the role of licensing. These are important topics to discuss. But we have to be aware that these are long-term issues, “von der Leyen said in a speech on Saturday.

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