Health Minister Hugo de Jonge has eased his position to lift the patent for the coronavirus vaccine and promote its use in poor countries after previously taking strict policies.
“The Cabinet continues to pressure the European Commission to be constructively involved within the World Trade Organization on the proposal to temporarily lift the patent on the coronavirus vaccine,” De Jongge answered MP’s question. Said. “The Cabinet now … is of the opinion that active and constructive negotiations are needed on specific texts for trip exemption proposals.”
The proposal in question is an agreement on trade-related intellectual property rights that lifts patents on the intellectual property required to manufacture, manufacture, and distribute the Covid-19 vaccine. Travel exemption proposals submitted to the WTO have been endorsed by more than 100 countries so far.
Health advocates around the world claim that intellectual property rights act as an artificial obstacle to the production and sharing of life-saving vaccines, medical technology and knowledge.
Marianne Meijer of the Dutch medical rights campaign group Wemos told DutchNews.nl that the minister’s remarks are a departure from her previous patent position. “In February, the Netherlands strictly followed the European Commission’s stance that intellectual property is not an obstacle, but rather an asset,” she said.
“Vaccines are essential for controlling pandemics, and increasing their production is important for better access to vaccines around the world,” she said. “From this perspective, the Dutch government’s call for the EU Commission to be constructively involved in the WTO on the proposal to suspend the patent for the COVID-19 vaccine is the first step in the right direction.”
So far, the Dutch government has focused specifically on Covax, an initiative to promote vaccine sharing with low-income countries, and the willingness of pharmaceutical companies to work together without the obligation to temporarily waive their intellectual property rights. rice field.
Currently, only 1.1% of people in low-income countries receive a single dose of the coronavirus vaccine. In contrast, the Netherlands is currently discussing the need for a third booster jab for the elderly.
To combat this inequality, the World Health Organization has called for a moratorium of vaccine boosters until at least 10% of the population of all countries is vaccinated.
Parliamentarians are pressing the Dutch government to change its position. In June, they voted in favor of a motion made by Labor MP Kati Piri and urged the Dutch government to work to thwart EU resistance to the temporary lifting of the Covid-19 vaccine patent.
The Netherlands sent unused vaccines to a former Surinamese colony and allocated 500,000 doses under the Covax scheme. It will also donate 3 million doses to Indonesia and the remaining AstraZeneca stockpile to several countries, including Tanzania and Namibia.
De Jonge’s comment comes from Pfizer raising its annual revenue forecast for vaccines by nearly one-third to $ 33.5 billion, revealing that both Pfizer and Moderna have raised vaccine prices. rice field.
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To ease the Dutch attitude towards temporarily lifting the Covid vaccine patent
Source link To ease the Dutch attitude towards temporarily lifting the Covid vaccine patent