EXIM Matters: Funding technology transfer for vax better than IPR waiver

Experts say merely waiving IPR will not raise vaccine supply unless pharma companies transfer the technology and trade secrets that will enable others to produce the vaccines

T N C Rajagopalan
Lab test, research, r&d, chemicals, medical research, vaccine, health, pharma

Last Wednesday, the Biden administration signalled its intention to support the proposal of India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive intellectual property rights (IPR) of the pharmaceutical companies that have developed Covid-19 vaccines. It is, however, far from certain that many manufacturers will make the vaccines without collaborating with the patent holders.    The idea of IPR protection is to let innovators, who invest massive sums of money to develop or invent new products, recover their investments. Not allowing them to do so will discourage such investments and we may eventually lose out on new inventions. So, WTO members signed up the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement in 1995 to protect IPR of innovators. In 2001, the WTO unanimously adopted a resolution to waive IPR in case of public health emergencies.

Also Read

Amid Covid-19 pandemic, exports could come as a saviour for India

Easing of essential goods imports to help fight Covid-19 pandemic

Markets to look beyond second Covid wave, say analysts; bet on cyclicals

Exim Bank pegs exports to grow around 8% in Dec after two months of decline

From cotton to sugar imports, here's an overview of India-Pak trade ties

Showing PAN-Aadhaar for Covid treatment not practical: Experts

GST exemption on vaccines will lead to high prices: FM Sitharaman

Raw jute crisis: Govt may have to spend Rs 2,000 cr more to procure bags

Tens of millions on the fringes sink into poverty as Covid wrecks India

UP oxygen near 1,000 tonnes/day, CM says state working 24x7 on supplies

First Published: May 09 2021 | 11:40 PM IST

Explore News

To read the full story, subscribe to BS Premium now, at just Rs 249/ month.

Key stories on are available only to BS Premium subscribers. Already a BS Premium subscriber?LOGIN NOW

Register to