Aug 13 · Last update 1 mo. ago.

Is TRIPS damaging the developing world?

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) governs copyright internationally in accordance with the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (or TRIPS), a legal arrangement that requires all member states to establish and adhere to a minimum standard of intellectual property protection. Critics have long highlighted the need to revise TRIPS over the possibility that the agreement could cause difficulty in a state’s ability to deal with a public health crisis. This became increasingly controversial during 2020 as conflicts over copyright and patent waivers potentially slowed down global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Do we need to revise TRIPS in light of the pandemic?
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TRIPS is bad for developing countries
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TRIPS is bad for developing countries

The WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is and was bad for developing countries, but this is especially clear in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Patents have long helped maintain high drug costs for public health programs across Africa, and despite generating controversy there has been no substantial revisions of TRIPS. This has not always been the case though, in 2003 the US Bush administration passed The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, an initiative to help combat the spread of HIV that led to the distribution of generic drugs in the following year, so there are clearly avenues and examples of flexibility. However in 2020 over a hundred developing nations supported some sort of patent waiver for COVID vaccinations but members of G7 nations blocked this through the WTO, an action that was condemned four hundred organisations and over a hundred European Commission members. TRIPS stands in the way of adequately addressing public health crises and in light of the pandemic needs to be revised.

amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/02/g7-leaders-are-shooting-themselves-in-the-foot-by-failing-to-tackle-global-vaccine-access aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/1/can-a-waiver-on-ip-rights-solve-vaccine wto.org/english/news_e/news20_e/trip_10dec20_e.htm

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