The European Union has drafted a resolution calling on the World Health Organization to create a shared pool of intellectual property rights for vaccines and treatments during the coronavirus pandemic.
The EU wants drugmakers to lend intellectual property rights for their COVID-19 medicines and vaccines to the pool.
A group of international aid organizations also said that COVID-19 vaccines or treatments developed through government funding should be barred from patent exclusivity in order to enable worldwide access and affordability.
The group, which includes Doctors Without Borders, asked the UK government in an open letter to prevent exclusive licensing of any COVID-19 treatment it helped fund during development. The aid organizations want governments to grant non-exclusive licenses for COVID-19 treatments if drugmakers fail to set reasonable prices.
“Without safeguards, pharmaceutical companies may gain exclusive rights to a new vaccine, which in turn could lead to price gouging and unaffordable prices for millions of people,” they said.
Read the EU’s draft proposal here: www.fdanews.com/04-16-20-EUProposal.pdf. — James Miessler