India wants 5-year IPR waiver on Covid tests, treatments, Health News, ET HealthWorld

India wants 5-year IPR waiver on Covid tests, treatments

New Delhi: India, South Africa and 80 other countries have pitched for a global patent waiver for Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics for a five-year period. India wants the intellectual property rights (IPR) waiver deal offered for vaccines to be extended to therapeutics and diagnostics.

The latest submission comes after the US sought an extension of the deadline for the finalisation of the patent waiver deal beyond December 17.

At a meeting of the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council on Tuesday, India and others submitted a text proposing that the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial council be “extended mutatis mutandi for the production and supply of Covid-19 therapeutics and diagnostics”. China and Singapore echoed the US’ position for an extension of the deadline to decide on the waiver at the meeting.

The 12th Ministerial Conference decision of the WTO contains a commitment that no later than six months from the date of its adoption – June 17 – members will decide on a possible extension to cover the production and supply of Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics.

“An eligible member may apply the provisions of this therapeutics and diagnostics decision until 5 years from the date of this decision. Any extension of the MC12 decision on the TRIPS agreement pursuant to paragraph 6 shall apply to this decision as well,” India, South Africa and other co-sponsors said in the text.

At the meeting, India said that the ministerial decision provided a clear deadline for members to decide on the extension of the decision on therapeutics and diagnostics. “India said this is the opportunity for all members to clearly state whether they agree or disagree with the extension of the decision to therapeutics and diagnostics,” said a Geneva-based official, who did not wish to be identified.

Taiwan submitted a discussion paper aimed at facilitating further discussion.

“Taiwan said the issues involved in Covid-related diagnostics and therapeutics are different from and much more complicated than vaccines,” said the official.

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