[Ip-health] EU position WTO TRIPS

Ella Weggen ella.weggen at wemos.nl
Thu Oct 15 04:48:21 PDT 2020

Terrible position of The Netherlands @SigridKaag<https://twitter.com/SigridKaag>  and the EU on WTO TRIPS Council proposal by India and South Africa, which will be discussed today: Only protecting IP, arguing what is being done to achieve global access will be enough.


(through google translate)

During the TRIPS Council, the European Commission will focus on the property of intellectual property in R&D for the development of vaccines and treatments. Intellectual property is not a barrier, but a support for the intensification of research and innovation. At the same time, the Commission is committed to equitable access to safe, effective and affordable vaccines, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable people. For this, poor countries, especially the most developed countries, must have sufficient policy leeway to effectively roll out new medical breakthroughs to effectively and cure COVID-19. This scope already exists under the current TRIPS treaty, including the option of compulsory licenses where necessary.
The Netherlands supports this commitment of the Commission.

The European Commission in addition to its involvement in various initiatives for a justice, fair access to vaccines and medicines for COVID-19. For example, the Commission has made EUR 400 million available to guarantee the COVAX facility to cooperate in the purchase of future vaccines for the benefit of vulnerable countries. The Commission has also included in agreements with pharmaceutical companies on the purchase of a potential vaccine against COVID-19 to donate vaccines to low- or middle-income countries. The Netherlands has strongly advocated the inclusion of these provisions within the EU.

In the run-up to the TRIPS meeting on October 15-16, India and South Africa made a proposal to temporarily suspend all parts of the TRIPS agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19. However, a word-wide and far-reaching waiver is neither necessary nor desirable for the EU. To date, there are no insurmountable barriers in the existing TRIPS regulations that lead to reduced availability of COVID-19-related medical products and drugs. At the same time, this could slow down the strong willingness to invest in new vaccines, drugs and medical products at a time when they are most needed.

Met vriendelijke groet / Kind regards,

Ella Weggen
Senior Global Health Advocate

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