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U.S. reverses stance, backs giving poorer countries access to COVID vaccine patents

Bowing to pressure from fellow Democrats and 100 other countries, President Joe Biden threw his support behind a proposed WTO waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, angering the powerful U.S. pharmaceutical industry

5/6/2021 7:50:00 AM

Bowing to pressure from fellow Democrats and 100 other countries, President Joe Biden threw his support behind a proposed WTO waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID -19 vaccines, angering the powerful U.S. pharmaceutical industry

President Joe Biden on Wednesday threw his support behind waiving intellectual property rights for COVID -19 vaccines, bowing to mounting pressure from Democratic lawmakers and more than 100 other countries, but angering pharmaceutical companies.

stock fell only slightly.The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called Biden's move a "MONUMENTAL MOMENT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST #COVID19" on Twitter, and said it reflected "the wisdom and moral leadership of the United States."

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loadingPharmaceutical companies working on vaccines have reported sharp revenue and profit gains during the crisis. The industry's biggest lobby group warned that Biden's unprecedented step would undermine the companies' response to the pandemic and compromise safety.

One industry source said U.S. companies would fight to ensure any waiver agreed upon was as narrow and limited as possible.Robert W. Baird analyst Brian Skorney said he believed the waiver discussion amounted to grandstanding by the Biden administration and would not kick off a major change in patent law. headtopics.com

"I'm skeptical that it would have any sort of broader long- term impact across the industry," he said.Biden backed a waiver during the 2020 presidential campaign in which he also promised to re-engage with the world after four years of contentious relations between former President Donald Trump and U.S. allies. Biden has come under intensifying pressure to share U.S. vaccine supply and technology to fight the virus around the globe.

His decision comes amid a devastating, which accounted for 46% of the new COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide last week, and signs that the outbreak is spreading to Nepal, Sri Lanka and other neighbors.NEGOTIATIONS TO TAKE TIME1/2U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the state of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations from the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Read MoreWednesday’s statement paved the way for what could be months of negotiations to hammer out a specificWTO decisions require a consensus of all 164 members.loadingTai cautioned deliberations would take time but that the United States would also continue to push for increased production and distribution of vaccines - and raw materials needed to make them - around the world.

The United States and several other countries previously blocked negotiations at the WTO about a proposal led by India and South Africa to waive protections for some patents and technology and boost vaccine production in developing countries.Critics of the waiver say producing COVID-19 vaccines is complex and setting up production at new facilities would divert resources from efforts to boost production at existing sites. headtopics.com

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They say that pharmaceutical companies in rich and developing countries have already reached more than 200 technology transfer agreements to expand delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, a sign the current system is working.The WTO meets again on Thursday, but it was not immediately clear if the U.S. decision would sway other opponents, including the European Union and Britain.

The U.S. government poured billions of dollars into research and advance purchases for COVID-19 vaccines last year when the shots were still in the early stages of development and it was unclear which, if any, would prove to be safe and effective at protecting against the virus.

Wednesday's move allows Washington to be responsive to the demands of the political left and developing countries, while using WTO negotiations to narrow the scope of the waiver, said one source familiar with the deliberations. It also buys time to boost vaccine supplies through more conventional means.

loadingDr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said such a patent waiver “amounts to the expropriation of the property of the pharmaceutical companies whose innovation and financial investments made the development of COVID-19 vaccines possible in the first place.” headtopics.com

But proponents say the pharmaceutical companies would suffer only minor losses because any waiver would be temporary - and they would still be able to sell follow-on shots that could be required for years to come.Pfizer said on Tuesday it expectsof at least $26 billion this year and that demand for the shots from governments around the world fighting to halt the pandemic could contribute to its growth for years to come.

Read more: Reuters Top News »

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“...angering the powerful U.S. pharmaceutical industry” Money over lives. That’s what this country does. That’s why there are a few rich people controlling everything for the rest of us worker ants. StopTheBigLie TheTruthMatters WakeUp “It’s for a vaccine so it’s good!” Until they start taking whatever intellectual property they want because they realize they can do it and the ignorant masses will blindly follow them in the name of ‘sAfEtY and lIfE’

They are not God. They have no Right. Save humanity not intellectual property rights, its the hour of need these pharmaceutical industries are just like the mafia of cigarettes & liquor lobby Wrong. He has long advocated for this. Big Pharma Getting Big Angy: Terrible wording 👍 never mind some fucking greedy underbugs are angering for their selves rather than all of humans.

Covid19 is a pandemic. Vaccinating a handful of populations isn't really going to solve the problem. The disease will keep challenging even those vaccinated until the entire world has access to vaccines. A step in the right direction.

Analysis: In a decision on Covid-19 vaccine patents, Joe Biden chose humanity'President Joe Biden was between a shot and a hard place. In the end, he chose humanity. ... Ultimately, making vaccines more available will benefit Americans, since nobody is safe from Covid until everyone is,' writes StCollinson | Analysis StCollinson It’s a depopulation plan. These MRNA vaccines will start killing everyone in approximately 1 or 2 years. StCollinson He chose an empty, meaningless gesture that does not change anything for anyone at risk. He could've chosen to pay for vaccines for everyone from CIA budget. StCollinson That's total bullshit. There are certain groups of people who were NEVER in any measurable danger from the China virus, and any decent epidemiologist will tell you, except Phony Fauci. Yet, those same people were forced to wear a damn mask, get vaccinated, miss school, go broke.

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Majority Of House Democrats Want Biden To Waive COVID-19 Vaccine PatentsBiden “has an incredible opportunity' to reverse Trump administration damage, 110 House Democrats told him in a letter. Do you think this is what people really need right now? This daughter of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union leads 110 leftwing Congressional Democrats demanding that Biden legalize a theft of intellectual property and people's investments. A better way is for rich countries to buy vaccines for the Third World.