THE ROLE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN THE (UN)AVAILABILITY OF VACCINES DURING THE PANDEMIC
Keywords:monopolies, patents, compulsory licensing, pharmaceutical products, vaccines
Abstract: Intellectual property law is dedicated to promoting inventions, while ensuring the protection of socio-economic interests. The financial aspects of research and the lack of alternative protection for investments impose the need for their patent protection. Many countries, especially developing ones, have resisted the patent protection of pharmaceutical products, fearing that these products would become inaccessible to them, as patent protection increases the price of medicines. However, it is exactly the rules of intellectual property that, through the institute of compulsory licensing, enable the renunciation of the monopoly over pharmaceutical products, in the time of epidemics and pandemics. The institute of compulsory licensing in the period of pandemics gives priority to human lives over the profits of several pharmaceutical companies. The question then arises as to why countries such as the EU, the United States and others rebelled within the WTO against the proposal of South America, Africa and India to implement the institute of compulsory licensing for covid-19 vaccines.
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