During the Covid 19 pandemic, the IP (Intellectual Property) system enabled the rapid development of several new treatments and vaccines that were safe and effective, as well as the production of billions of doses, saving hundreds of millions of lives. With voluntary manufacturing partnerships playing a key role, the IP system supported the secure and timely transfer of the technical know-how required to create these incredibly complex breakthrough products.
As such, a strong international framework for the protection of IP rights is crucial for ensuring that the world is ready for future pandemics, according to I-Com, the Institute for Competitiveness and a worldwide coalition of another 23 think tanks and civil society organisations led by the Geneva Network.
Specifically, the coalition highlights the following key principles:
- IP rights are essential to develop and manufacture innovative pandemic vaccines and therapeutics;
- The best way to transfer technology and share manufacturing know-how is through voluntary cooperation;
- Relying on IP-free models of vaccine and therapeutic vaccine development is far too risky in a pandemic situation;
- In a pandemic, timeliness and flexibility are key. UN organisations should not attempt to pick vaccine technology “winners” ahead of any pandemic;
- IP waivers are meaningless without robust public health and vaccine delivery systems.
The coalition hopes these principles will inform negotiations will inform negotiations for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPR) Instrument shortly to begin at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Here attached the full declaration.