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Politics Intellectual property restrictions hamper the fight against COVID-19

02:30  05 may  2021
02:30  05 may  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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Who wants intellectual property rights on vaccines suspended? India and South Africa are leading the push for a Trips waiver, with many other low-income countries having also signed up, arguing it is the only way to ensure “fair, equitable and affordable access” to Covid - 19 products, including vaccines and drugs. The proposal comes after a World Health Organization attempt to encourage the pooling of intellectual property — the Covid - 19 Technology Access Pool — received limited interest last year from countries and companies holding the IP rights. A policeman in Mumbai, India turns people away

The fighting against COVID - 19 has been lasting almost two months, and the time left for people outside of China to prepare the countermeasures has been narrowed quickly. To date, we have found it is one of the greatest challenges to human beings in fighting against COVID - 19 in the history, since the pathogen of SARS-CoV-2 is a new coronavirus, differed from either SARS-CoV or MERS-CoV in terms of biological characteristics and transmissibility [13]. Technically, we have little knowledge on the pathogen and pathogenesis, without specific effectively drugs or vaccine against the virus infection

The coronavirus-related disaster in India has reawakened Americans to the moral and practical demands of humanitarianism, the desire to provide relief for people suffering from disease, natural disasters, or violent conflict. President Biden has announced that the U.S. will deliver more than $100 million in essential supplies in the coming weeks. He is responding not only to the well-reported tragedy, but also to the heartfelt demands of the American people.

a person standing next to a fence: Municipal workers barricade a a contaminated zone as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19 © Getty Images Municipal workers barricade a a contaminated zone as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19

The president's gesture reflects a longstanding American humanitarian impulse to provide relief and save lives. It is an admirable trait and one that projects national values. That is not to suggest that benefits will not accrue to the United States. Preventing new variants of COVID-19 from reaching our shores is one and the soft power derived from goodwill is another.

Bernie Sanders calls for US drug companies to surrender intellectual property rights for vaccines

  Bernie Sanders calls for US drug companies to surrender intellectual property rights for vaccines Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called for prominent U.S. drug companies to surrender their intellectual property rights and "allow other countries" to produce and distribute vaccinations more expediently. © Provided by Washington Examiner Maintaining intellectual property rights is "morally objectionable" because "rich countries" maintain stockpiles of the shots, while those in "poor countries" cannot keep up, Sanders said on Sunday. “The second thing we should do is ...

Rival groups of scientists are at loggerheads over how government should handle the Covid pandemic, with one advising that only over-65s and the vulnerable should be shielded, while the other backs nationwide measures. The two stances underline a schism within the scientific community over how to tackle the second wave of coronavirus in the UK. The Gupta-Heneghan-Sikora letter warned that imposing lockdowns and restrictions wherever case numbers rise and potentially across the whole of the country is “leading to significant harm across all age groups, which likely offsets any benefits”.

The first thing I want to say here is that the type of vaccine being developed against Covid - 19 has never been used before, outside of Ebola. Some people feel that they should not really be called vaccines, because they are completely different from anything that has gone before. Up to now, vaccination has meant injecting a dead virus (or bacteria), or one that has been weakened and can only poorly replicate, or parts of the virus, or suchlike. Once inside the body, the immune system spots this ‘alien’ material, and creates a response against it, which will hopefully be remembered for years and

Humanitarianism, however, occasionally comes up against policy roadblocks of which the American people may be unaware. The COVID pandemic has exposed one very serious deficiency in our global response: the limits created by the set of international laws designed to protect intellectual property (IP).

Patents and IP laws preserve the technological breakthroughs of private corporations and the investments they make in research and development. However, we have been wrestling with the humanitarian implications of these constraints for some time. The scientific breakthroughs that have produced the vaccines we need to counter the COVID pandemic underscore the contradiction between our need to fight the virus on a global basis and the need to protect intellectual property.

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

  US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is throwing its support behind efforts to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to speed the end of the pandemic. United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the government's position in a Wednesday statement, amid World Trade Organization talks over easing global trade rules to enable more countries to produce more of the life-saving vaccines. “TheUnited States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the government's position in a Wednesday statement, amid World Trade Organization talks over easing global trade rules to enable more countries to produce more of the life-saving vaccines.

Covid - 19 Freedom Index. Demonstrators have gathered in the thousands in the German capital as the nation’s parliament debates whether to give Merkel’s government more power to impose lockdowns on areas with high Covid - 19 infections. Protesters, many of them not wearing face masks, descended on Berlin on Wednesday morning to demonstrate their opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s proposal which would give the national government power to implement new restrictions if regional Covid - 19 incident rates exceed certain thresholds.

Nothing you hear on the mainstream media about COVID - 19 is true. This shows you what TRUE scientists are saying. Everybody must see this critical documentary about the COVID - 19 vaccine. Download the video, so you can upload it everywhere: Facebook, Youtube, Bitchute, etc.

Walter Isaccson's "The Code Breaker" brilliantly details the many years of research that produced the vaccines that fight the COVID virus. He focuses on the American scientist, Jennifer Doudna who very much deserves the accolades, but she would be the first to admit that she built her research on breakthroughs produced by other scientists from around the world. In fact, she shares her Nobel Prize with a French scientist. The work was done in the laboratories of academic institutions, with U.S. government grants playing a very large role.

The issue is the availability of scientific knowledge when the globe is fighting a life threatening pandemic. Can we afford to sit on that knowledge base and refuse to share it to preserve the narrower interests of private corporations?

India and other nations have long demonstrated the capacity to produce generic pharmaceuticals that are desperately needed to counter tropical diseases. Why not make an humanitarian exception and share the biotechnologies needed to locally produce the vaccines needed to counter the COVID-19 pandemic in places like India, Brazil and South Africa?

Rich nations urged to share vaccine knowledge as WTO debates waiving patents

  Rich nations urged to share vaccine knowledge as WTO debates waiving patents Members of the World Trade Organization are to discuss a proposal to waive intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments Wednesday amid growing international pressure for greater access for developing nations. © Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images Security guards stand next to signs announcing that vaccines are out of stock outside a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccination centre closed for three days due to shortage of vaccine supplies, in Mumbai on April 30, 2021.

COVID - 19 pandemic which require research including aspects such as the effects of the. disease and crisis on the emotional and mental health impact on populations; the nature. of citizen compliance with public health measures and other social behaviours which. This agreement on the nature of the disease and its impacts are important in assessing. government responses to the crisis. First, they provide a baseline against which the. behaviour of citizens, leaders and organizations can be assessed, since the failure to. accept or recognize these facts is a telltale sign of the extent to which

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The pharmaceutical companies will make huge profits from the vaccines in Western countries even though the U.S. taxpayer paid most of the research and development costs. There is a strong humanitarian and national security justification to share this technology and make an exception to the IP constraint.

India and other nations are now requesting that a waiver of IP restrictions be provided by the World Trade Organization to enable the production of generic versions of the COVID vaccines. The pharmaceutical companies are lobbying intensely against this believing that the waiver will constitute a slippery slope making it easier the next time to allow the production of generics.

If a pandemic is not sufficient cause to allow an exception then nothing is. We have experienced many epidemics that threatened to go global. The best cure is to stop these viruses at the source. Yet, development agencies working to help developing countries create viable health care systems are operating with hands tied behind their backs. Essential pharmaceutical products are available only at exorbitant prices in the poorest countries if at all.

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There is no question that the profit motive has encouraged "big pharma" to produce new life saving drugs; ironically many are derived from natural resources found only in tropical environments. IP protections are needed to preserve the scientific edge in normal times - but these are not normal times. If we don't act now to stop COVID from spreading in frightening new forms, we will be sacrificing national security for protections that do little for the common person and a great deal for companies that are already well endowed with both profit margins and huge investments in taxpayers' money.

Biden's effort to help India in its time of need is a worthy reflection of core American values. He can do even more if he positions the United States to support a one-time waiver of intellectual property protections and uses his authority under the Defense Production Act to force companies to share the bio technologies needed to produce vaccines in the countries facing the brunt of the pandemic.

Brian Atwood is a visiting scholar at Brown Universtity's Watson Institute. He served as administrator of the U.S Agency for International Development under President Clinton.

U.S. wants COVID vaccine patent waiver to benefit world, not boost China biotech .
U.S. wants COVID vaccine patent waiver to benefit world, not boost China biotechPresident Joe Biden on Wednesday backed the U.S. entering negotiations at the World Trade Organization for the waiver of intellectual property rights as a means to boost vaccine supplies by allowing poorer countries to make their own.

usr: 1
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