TRIPS Agreement

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 10th June 2022.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the (a) outcome of the most recent discussion at the World Trade Organisation on a comprehensive temporary waiver on the provisions of the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and (b) implications for her policies of the associated proposal to mandate covid-19 healthcare technology transfers from nationally based pharmaceutical companies; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of (a) introducing a comprehensive temporary waiver on the provisions of the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and (b) mandating covid-19 healthcare technology transfers from nationally based pharmaceutical companies; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

The UK believes that there is no evidence that a waiver of intellectual property rights would help with equitable vaccine distribution and their prompt administration. Rather, it would have the extremely negative effect of dismantling the framework which allows the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Instead, we are encouraging the pharmaceutical industry to continue to form additional voluntary licensing and technology transfer partnerships. Working with commercial partners and within the existing international Intellectual Property framework is the most effective way to produce life-saving medicines at pace.

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