The Biden administration is supporting a proposal that would suspend all intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines and would authorize the sharing of United States COVID-related IP with foreign nations. The petition by South Africa and India at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive most of the protections in the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) would undermine U.S. medical innovation, endanger American jobs and not help to fight the pandemic.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel disagrees with President Biden saying that patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines “must remain in place”. Merkel’s spokesperson added: “The limiting factor for the production of vaccines are manufacturing capacities and high-quality standards, not the patents” and “the protection of intellectual property is a source of innovation and this has to remain so in the future.”
Biden’s proposal of removing intellectual property rights would benefit Chinese manufacturers who have been trying to steal American innovation for over a year, which was considered a national security risk not too long ago. Instead of resulting in a rapid increase of safe and effective vaccines, this proposal will dilute the world supply with false, substandard, and counterfeit vaccines by illicit manufacturers and will not help to end the pandemic.