[Ip-health] Politico -- Phil Hogan: Compulsory licensing for corona vaccine possible

Dimitri Eynikel Dimitri.Eynikel at msf.org
Wed Jun 3 07:03:54 PDT 2020

Dear all

in addition to the  below article from politico
Find the letter by European Commissioner for Trade  Phil Hogan here: https://www.politico.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Van-Brempt-2.pdf, including his answer on the point of the Article 31 exemption.

best regards,

Health Care<https://pro.politico.eu/policy/health-care> + 1 more
Phil Hogan: Compulsory licensing for corona vaccine possible
This would allow governments to circumvent patent protection for medicines to ensure global access to a vaccine.

by Barbara Moens<https://pro.politico.eu/authors/5364>, Ashleigh Furlong<https://pro.politico.eu/authors/5329>
Jun 2, 2020, 11:23 AM

The EU can resort to compulsory licensing if necessary to push for worldwide access to a coronavirus vaccine, EU trade chief Phil Hogan said in a letter<https://www.politico.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Van-Brempt-2.pdf> to Bernd Lange, the chair of the European Parliament's trade committee, obtained by POLITICO.

Compulsory licensing allows governments to circumvent patent protection for medicines in certain urgent circumstances so they can manufacture what they need in response to events such as the current pandemic.

The issue became a flashpoint in recent discussions over the World Health Assembly's resolution<https://pro.politico.eu/news/119396>, with the U.S. leading opposition<https://pro.politico.eu/news/119099> to references to flexibilities allowed under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). These flexibilities allow for compulsory licensing under certain conditions.

In the case of the coronavirus vaccine, countries want flexibilities to allow for "the universal, timely and equitable access to and fair distribution of all quality, safe, efficacious and affordable essential health technologies and products including their components and precursors required in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The EU's recent trade agreements include rules on commercial aspects of intellectual property rights, including for medicines, which generally acknowledge the issue of compulsory licensing.

"The flexibilities provided for in the TRIPS Agreement, including the possibility to grant compulsory licences in emergency situations, remain fully available under the EU's FTA's - under the same rules and conditions as in the TRIPS Agreement itself," Hogan says in the letter.

Hogan also says: "I would like to assure you that the Commission is closely following all the developments related to the commercial aspects of intellectual property rights in the context of Covid-19 and will not hesitate to take appropriate steps to address challenges brought about by Covid-19."

"China and the U.S. might fight over what happens to a future vaccine," said MEP Kathleen Van Brempt, who asked Hogan about this in the European Parliament's trade committee. "The EU's role is to be a pioneer of global access, especially for those countries who don't have their own production capacity. That is why it is important that Hogan confirms our FTAs are in line with the international rules and can help make a vaccine accessible."
Aid and development<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/aid-development>Coronavirus<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/coronavirus>Infectious diseases<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/infectious-diseases>Intellectual property<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/intelectual-property>Medicines<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/medicines>Patents<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/patents>Rights<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/rights>Trade<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/trade>Vaccines<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/vaccines>Bernd Lange<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/bernd-lange>Phil Hogan<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/phil-hogan>European Parliament<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/european-parliament>EU27<https://pro.politico.eu/tag/eu27>

Dimitri Eynikel | Access Campaign EU Policy & Advocacy Advisor
Médecins Sans Frontières | Doctors Without Borders
 T : +32 2 474 75 24 |Cell: +32 476 86 32 54 |
Twitter: @DimitriEynikel<https://twitter.com/DimitriEynikel>  | E : dimitri.eynikel at msf.org<mailto:dimitri.eynikel at msf.org> | www.msfaccess.org<http://www.msfaccess.org/>

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