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Articles on TRIPS agreement

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India’s minister of commerce Piyush Goyal and WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala celebrate the end of the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/Keystone via AP

World Trade Organization steps back from the brink of irrelevance – but it’s not fixed yet

Meeting for the first time since 2017, the WTO’s highest decision-making body managed to agree on some things – including its first treaty with environmental protection as the objective.
Global Justice campaigners in London stand by fake coffins to highlight global COVID-19 deaths. If pharma companies waived intellectual property rights, it would be easier for low- and middle-income countries to access COVID-19 vaccines. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

We still need a vaccine patent waiver, but not the one on offer at the World Trade Organization meeting

Waiving patent rights on COVID-19 vaccines and drugs is still crucial to ensure access globally, but the waiver on the table at the June World Trade Organization meeting doesn’t do the job.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy president David Mabuza, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize visiting the Aspen Pharmacare sterile manufacturing facility. Lulama Zenzile/Die Burger/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Why Africa’s push to make vaccines should look further than COVID-19

Vaccine manufacturing doesn’t come cheap. It depends heavily on support from developed countries. It also requires much more than relaxing intellectual property rights and a desire for vaccine equity.
Anita Anand, Canada’s minister of public services and procurement, opens a box with some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured last March through a deal with the Serum Institute of India. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL

Canada is virtue signalling while waffling on global access to COVID-19 vaccines

Despite some public virtue signalling, the Canadian government is not doing all it can to improve global access to COVID-19 vaccines. Canada has yet to announce its position on the WTO patent waiver.
The US has agreed to ‘free the vaccine’, but will it work? Allison Bailey / Alamy Stock Photo

US-backed vaccine patent waiver: pros and cons explained

It’s not clear whether the TRIPS agreement is what’s getting in the way of vaccine supply, and waiving intellectual property rights may stifle future innovation.

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