Patents for Covid-19 vaccines: Pharmaceutical companies urge government to oppose vaccine patent waiver

Ireland’s largest pharmaceutical companies have called on the government to oppose a U.S. administration decision to support a patent waiver proposal on Covid-19 vaccines.

The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), the industry representative association, said yesterday that the move would not increase production capacity for Covid-19 vaccines.

He said increasing the ability to deliver doses to citizens around the world requires the skills and technical know-how of vaccine developers to integrate with partner manufacturing organizations.

IPHA Managing Director Oliver O’Connor said: “This kind of capacity expansion is not made possible by waiving patents and hoping factories around the world can look to the process. vaccine manufacturing complex.

“A waiver risks diverting raw materials and supplies from well-established and efficient supply chains to less efficient manufacturing sites where productivity and quality may be an issue.

“This risks the entry of counterfeit vaccines into the supply chain around the world. Capacity expansion is only achievable through voluntary collaborative links between vaccine innovators and expert manufacturing partners.

“These partnerships are underway around the world and vaccine manufacturers are also investing in modernizing their own sites. Emphasis must be placed on removing obstacles to collaboration, ensuring the free movement of materials around the world and continuing the research effort ”. Mr. O’Connor said.

IPHA urged the government to make its voice heard in Europe and the world, oppose the waiver and continue to support intellectual property.

He said a research-based response, with Europe at its heart, “gave us the tools to fight the virus.“.

“This response was built on an intellectual property framework that prompts innovators to explore new technologies.”

He added that the industry fully supports the common goal of protecting the citizens of the world through vaccines.

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