The EU Commission submitted its proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to increase the supply of Covid-19 vaccines and drugs and to provide global access to them.
According to the proposal, Covid-19 vaccines, therapeutic drugs and their components will be able to cross borders freely.
Global supply chains for these products will be kept open. No export restrictions will be imposed on the vaccine and the products it contains. Countries producing the vaccine will export a “fair” portion of the production.
In addition, increasing vaccine production will be encouraged. Vaccine production investments will be made in developing countries. Countries will be able to obtain vaccines at affordable prices.
The use of compulsory language in the WTO’s current Agreement on the Commercial Characteristics of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) will be facilitated.
NO INITIATIVES ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
It was noteworthy that the EU’s proposal did not include an initiative to remove intellectual property rights on its vaccines.
The proposal of some countries led by India and the Republic of South Africa to shelve certain provisions of the agreement regulating intellectual property rights (TRIPS) for the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic was brought to the agenda at the WTO and negotiations were started on this issue.
The US administration changed its stance on intellectual property rights related to vaccines in May and supported the idea of removing these rights.
The EU, on the other hand, declared that this could be discussed, but that it would not provide a solution in the short term, and that investments should be made primarily to share vaccines, export the produced vaccines and increase the vaccine production capacity.
While the idea of abolishing intellectual property is supported by the poor and some developing countries, some western countries and pharmaceutical companies oppose the plan.