There is a need to create an environment for quick scaling up of global production of vaccines and other medical products to contain the spread of coronavirus and this requires temporary removal of all hurdles, including related to intellectual property protection in the WTO, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.
In this regard, he said, India and South Africa along with 57 other WTO ( World Trade Organization) members have co-sponsored a proposal for a temporary and limited-scope waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) agreement relevant to the prevention, treatment and containment of Covid-19.
Goyal said that this waiver is not intended to take away the protection given to pharma companies, and it focuses only on Covid-19 vaccines, associated medicines, and cures.
“We need to create an environment for quick scaling up of global production, not only for vaccines but also other medical products, such as therapeutics and diagnostics. This requires temporary removal of all impediments to the production of Covid-19 medical products, including where necessary Intellectual Property protection,” he has said.
The minister stated that the world is not producing sufficient vaccines due to limited licensing agreements.
To bridge the supply deficit, every tool at our disposal should be used towards producing enough vaccines, he said adding all initiatives must be explored in parallel and in a timely manner to ramp up manufacturing of Covid-19 medical products.
Goyal said that every country should strive for resilient supply chains by ensuring unimpeded access to raw materials required for Covid-19 products and failure to do so could prolong the pandemic for many years through cycles of mutation and may cost the global economy trillions of dollars.
“The time to act is now,” he added.