Trade, Industry and Competition Minister, Ebrahim Patel says they’ve made a proposal to the World Trade Organization to relax IP rights in order to avoid vaccine nationalism.
The government is asking pharmaceuticals to waive intellectual property rights for vaccines and health tools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patel said, “most countries across the world are covered by a global agreement in the World Trade Organisation that regulates intellectual property and there are some areas of copyright. It’s called the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement, in short Trips, the agreement requires countries may not use something that is patented without the authority or permission of the owner of the property however the agreement itself realizes that there are unusual times, times when countries may need to do what is called compulsory licensing, or even when those terms themselves, may be waived.”
“In this pandemic, vaccines as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, and other essential provisions are covered by Trips so a firm in SA or India or Brazil may not utilize their intellectual knowledge without the agreement of the patent holder.”
“What the waiver would do, for a limited time, it would exempt certain kinds of products from the Trips agreement and enable countries and firms to produce those on scale, that’s the heart of the proposal.”
In other news – AKA finally speaks out on Nelli Tembe’s death
Nelli died on April 11 after apparently falling from the 10th floor of the Pepperclub hotel in Cape Town. At the time of her death, those close to AKA said he was beside himself with grief and had sought counselling. Learn More