|  |  | 

India Top Headlines

India and South Africa discuss Covid 3-year patent exemption | India News


NEW DELHI: India and South Africa, along with several poor and developing countries in Africa and Latin America, have proposed a three-year patent exemption for Covid-19-related health products and technologies, including drugs and vaccines, along with “ its material or components and its manufacturing methods and means ”.
The presentation made on Friday goes beyond medicines and vaccines to include diagnostics, therapeutics, medical devices, personal protective equipment with the proposed coverage to include “the prevention, treatment or containment of Covid-19.”
Trade experts said that the proposal, which will form the basis for the negotiations, has clearly provided a window for the exchange of technology and knowledge, which is a major concern with suggestions that the patent exemption alone will not provide as result in the production of vaccines or drugs. In addition, by including material and components, the idea is to ensure access to the entire value chain.
While India and South Africa were the original proponents of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) exemption, which also includes relaxation of rules related to copyright and design, they now claim support from more than 120 countries, including Pakistan and Indonesia. .
China is seen as supporting the proposal and the government is trying to get Brazil to join. On the other hand, the United States, which recently announced its support for negotiations for a vaccine exemption, has also reached out to countries such as Japan and Switzerland with the European Union too willing to participate in the discussions.
“The presentation is absolutely clear. The idea is the consolidation of the proposals, providing clarity and affirmation of intention. India and the others have made it clear that they are looking for a three-year window while there was discussion in the United States for around 16-18 months, ”said Sachin Chaturvedi, who heads Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries, a group of experts.
“Three years provide clarity to companies looking to work on the production of vaccines or drugs in the medium term. India needs to redouble our efforts on the diplomatic front and ensure that developed countries do not link this with negotiations on other issues in the WTO, ”added Biswajit Dhar, a professor at JNU.
India and others have argued that there is a threat to human health, safety and well-being due to Covid-19 resulting in unprecedented and multifaceted effects, including the serious disruption of societies, economies, world trade and travel and the devastating impact on livelihoods. from the people.
At the same time, they recognized the importance of preserving incentives for research and innovation, but added that they must be balanced with the interest of public health.

Original source