Libertad y Progreso rejects patent waivers for Covid vaccines

Libertad y Progreso, along with 26 other organizations, rejects the measures proposed to the World Trade Organization that seek to cancel intellectual property rights. The result of these measures, if they are applied, would be counterproductive: the Covid crisis would deepen, and it would weaken the foundations for responding to future pandemics.

According to the Global Health Innovation Center at Duke University, the world is on track to produce 12.000 million doses of different vaccines, which are needed to achieve herd immunity (70% of the world population). A massive violation of intellectual property rights (hereinafter IPR) will affect the incentives for this production and future research for the welfare of humanity.

Respect for intellectual property rights is essential to end the Covid-19 pandemic and reactivate the economy. Legal certainty will guarantee both the production of vaccines and access to them.

Thus, Libertad y Progreso subscribes to a joint declaration that establishes the following points:

  • IPR are fundamental to produce vaccines at a sustainable scale.
  • IPR are essential for R&D that will help in future pandemics.
  • Competition from all over the world, not local forced production, will be responsible for keeping the price of vaccines low.
  • A suspension of PR will have no effect on the production of vaccines without a forced transfer of technology, which will be too slow to respond effectively to the current crisis, would be legally problematic, and cause economic problems.

As of April 20, 2021, there were 217 anti-Covid vaccines (in addition to more than 600 antiviral and therapeutic treatments) under development globally. This competitive and innovative market is at risk from multilateral anti-IP initiatives. The vaccine shortage in Argentina and in other countries would not have occurred or would have been transitory if the respective governments had acted diligently.

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