Brussels prefers the voluntary transfer of vaccine technology
Brussels, May 7 (EFE). The European Commission is not close to negotiating the eventual withdrawal of the patents for the vaccine, as supported by the United States, India or South Africa, but a transfer from Brussels is more beneficial, in the short term. Voluntary with agreements between different pharmaceutical companies to increase production.
In Brussels, it is seen that to increase production capacity, which is understood to be the current problem of supplying the entire planet with vaccines against Covid-19, there is a need for more information contained in the patents and the right to use them.
Biological products like vaccines are more complex than chemicals, for example, and 280 ingredients from 19 countries are needed to produce a dose of protection against Covid-19 using mRNA technology.
There is currently a technical debate on whether intellectual property is a problem, and if so, the Committee is of the view that the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) does indeed provide solutions.
One possible solution to the problem might be certain types of licenses for domestic production of vaccines with patents in a particular case, such as the case of India.
One can also pave the way for one country to obtain permission to produce vaccines for another country, if it does not have its own production capacity.
In the executive community, voluntary transfers work better, and there are examples in this pandemic such as production agreements between the pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and Pfizer or between Novartis and Johnson & Johnson, among others.
In any case, and in the absence of knowledge of the details of the US administration’s proposal for Joe Biden, the European Commission fears that the amendment of the TRIPS Agreement may not take months, but years, and it does not seem appropriate to start a great international launch. Discussion will not solve problems in the short term.
If progress is ultimately made in this way, in the face of formal negotiations, the European Commission – which has commercial jurisdiction in the European Union – will need a mandate from member states with a qualified majority, i.e. positive vote of 55% of member states (15 of 27 countries). And that they represent at least 65% of the population of the European Union.
So far, none of the EU member states that have spoken of the US announcement has closed in discussing the proposal. But countries such as Germany, France, Spain and Belgium have stressed that the immediate priority is to increase production. EFE
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