Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Calls on the World Trade Organization (WTO) to grant a patent exemption allowing countries to produce generic versions of Moderna’s Pfizer and COVID-19 vaccines, saying it is “morally unpleasant”
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Sanders said public health played a role in his argument, warning that new options emerging in India and other countries experiencing waves could come back and bite us. at one time or another. “
“We have to deal with this issue through the World Trade Organization … And I think what we have to say at the moment to pharmaceutical companies, when millions of lives are at stake around the world, is to allow other countries to have such rights to intellectual property so that they can produce the vaccines that are sorely needed in poor countries, ”Sanders said.
“There is something morally unpleasant in rich countries being able to get this vaccine, and yet millions and billions of people in poor countries cannot afford it,” the senator continued.
The potential refusal is opposed by trade groups representing drug manufacturers and conservatives, who say intellectual property protection is crucial to developing vaccines to deal with future pandemics.
“Removing these protections would undermine the global pandemic response, including ongoing efforts to tackle new options, create confusion that could potentially undermine public confidence in vaccine safety and create a barrier to information exchange,” PhRMA, Trade. a group representing U.S. drug manufacturers said in a statement.
Indian authorities have blamed insufficient access to COVID-19 vaccines for their latest surge, which has clogged the country’s healthcare system and left some patients unable to find treatment for serious cases.
The country has experienced several consecutive days with more than 3,000 reported deaths and recently saw 400,000 new cases in a 24-hour period for the first time.