TWN Info Service
on UN Sustainable Development (Oct20/02)
People’s Health Movement and Third World Network invite you to webinar
Rights Regime: Implications for Access to Covid19 Medical Products
The COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented global public health challenge. Countries have declared national emergencies, global supply chains have been disrupted and livelihoods shattered. As global demand outstrips supply for medical products, many countries, especially developing and least developed countries, have been scrambling for medical supplies while the developed countries have leveraged their financial influence to secure priority access. Efforts towards containing the COVID-19 spread have brought to light serious concerns about the impact of intellectual property rights such as patents, industrial designs, copyright and trade secrets on the availability and affordability of medical products. For instance, in Italy as ventilator valves were short in supply, a hospital relied on cheaper 3D printed valves, leading to assertions of potential intellectual property infringements. As medicines and vaccines are developed to treat or prevent COVID-19, massive shortages are anticipated leading to inequitable access. The IP framework, especially patents and trade secrets, is shadowing the potential to scale-up vaccine production through technology transfer. Moreover, the very basis for IP in the case of Covid-19 pandemic is flawed because it is through massive public funding that the research and manufacture of medical products, especially vaccines, is being carried out.
Global demand for medical products can only be met with widespread global production of products needed to contain, treat and prevent COVID-19. Against this background, the Webinar will discuss IP issues and the impact on global production and access to Covid 19 medical products from a public interest perspective.
8th October- 11:30