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Angela Merkel rejects the US idea of ​​lifting vaccines


Angela Merkel has said she has challenged Biden’s management’s view that suspending intellectual property rights Covid-19 vaccine, it is said, could have a “significant impact” on global vaccination.

The German chancellor said the barriers to vaccination were “the ability to produce high quality standards, not patents”.

“Skills protection is a source of innovation and should remain so in the future,” he added.

Merkel responds to President Joe Biden’s senior marketing adviser Katherine Tai who said although the US “strongly believes” in IP protection, it will help lift the ban. Covid-19 vaccine.

The revocation would allow any drug manufacturer in the world to produce a copycat product without fear of arrest for violating intellectual property rights.

“These are global health problems, and special cases of the Covid-19 epidemic call for special measures,” Tai said in a statement Wednesday.

The US has “taken part” in the negotiations at the World Trade Organization to draft a permit, he said, adding that the talks will take some time due to the complexities involved.

Washington’s idea has put the EU behind it. In recent months the bloc has refused to be pressured by India and South Africa within the WTO to revoke the patent.

The US emigration received a warm welcome from Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. He said the EU was “ready to discuss” how the petition could address the current crisis “equally and in depth”.

But he also said that the important thing is for the countries that are developing vaccines to remove the barriers to export and to address the trade deficit.

Von der Leyen contrasted the EU’s actions with those of other allies: “Europe is the only democratic region in the world that exports vaccines on a large scale.” The US, which is the world’s largest producer of vaccines, has also saved its punches for domestic use.

The US request received a positive response from Vladimir Putin, who said Russia, which produces the Sputnik V vaccine, would support this. “An epidemic is an emergency. . . Undoubtedly, Russia would agree with this, “the Russian president said.

China’s Foreign Ministry said it hoped to “hold active and fruitful dialogue with all parties under WTO principles to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation”.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France, said he was open to the idea of ​​granting IP rights, but “the truth is that today’s problems are neither expensive, nor acceptable”.

“You can transfer intellectual property to pharma companies in Africa but they do not have a way to make mRNA vaccines,” he said.

The idea of ​​discounting is being challenged by BioNTech, the first German company whose partnership with Pfizer brought the first RNA vaccine to market. The company said it could not solve the current problems and warned of the dangers of opening up to manufacturers who do not have the knowledge of mRNA.

“Together with Pfizer, we are also working with various organizations to help provide vaccinations to people around the world. And we will continue to provide vaccinations to low- and low-income countries at our low cost,” BioNTech said on Thursday.

“However, patents are not a barrier to developing our vaccine. . . The production of mRNA has been a major challenge for more than a decade. ”

Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s chief of staff, said the vaccine makers would have increased their potential for players before taking any advantage of the opportunity.

“If you start today, you should start by hiring people. “The vaccine doesn’t fall from the sky,” Bancel told FT US Pharma and the Biotech Conference on Thursday. “There are no mRNA factories… When we hire people from the hospital, we have to train them in mRNA skills.”

Matthias Kromeyer, a co-founder at MIG, who is one of BioNTech’s first business startups, said the patent waiver would offend businesses in the future.

“If the US / EU / WHO restricts patent protection, it will lose a lot of time over time – such as the desire of those who will sell their money to these companies, many years before it is known whether their technologies will succeed or not,” he said.

“This means the collapse of all companies that have proven to be the only ones who can bring about a lasting solution to the global economic, economic and social crisis. Without components, these new forces will not exist in the future – what can we do about it? ”

The chief executive of Bristol Myers Squibb described how the U.S. government supports the reduction as “essential” in an interview at the FT US Pharma Conference with Biotech on Thursday.

“Our companies focus on protecting intellectual property so that we can invest in R&D and make the money needed to deal with problems like Covid,” said Giovanni Caforio. “What has happened in the last 24 hours is tragic and frustrating.”

In addition to being important during the coronavirus crisis, Caforio said IP safety is “of paramount importance in some of the most important areas where BMS is established as a cancer care provider”.

Additional reports of Leila Abboud in Paris

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