The big vaccine patent waiver decision: 'It's like horse trading now'
The US has announced it's supporting a move to lift patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines, temporarily.
The aim is to make vaccines more accessible to hasten the end of the pandemic.
South Africa and India have been at the forefront of the push for the waiver on vaccine intellectual property (IP) protections at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Weeks of tough negotiations lie ahead for WTO members.
Bruce Whitfield gets insight from Salome Meyer, project manager of the Cancer Alliance's Access to Medicine Campaign.
She describes the shrewd bargaining to come in the face of big pharma opposition, as "horse trading".
It is going to take another couple of months because what is now on the table is word-based negotiation. That means they're going back to the text and that text needs to be negotiated.Salome Meyer, Project manager - Access to Medicine Campaign, Cancer Alliance
That can take weeks to finalise because it's really like horse trading now: What are we going to give up? What are we willing to give up? What are the demands on the table?Salome Meyer, Project manager - Access to Medicine Campaign, Cancer Alliance
The US has said the administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, so they are saying: We will do this for Covid... but they are already actually giving a warning that they aren't necessarily going to give up the fight.Salome Meyer, Project manager - Access to Medicine Campaign, Cancer Alliance
These companies [vaccine manufacturers] are based in the US, in the UK and the EU... Their shareholders are people within their own countries, so they are protecting their own people as well.Salome Meyer, Project manager - Access to Medicine Campaign, Cancer Alliance
What should be put on the table is the issue of morality Meyer says.
When we have a pandemic, as with Covid, there is a moral obligation of countries and of industry to come to the table and not to put profit ahead of saving lives of people. That is what we should call for.Salome Meyer, Project manager - Access to Medicine Campaign, Cancer Alliance
Listen to the fascinating interview about patents and the need for transparency:
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