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Despite Biden’s nod, don’t hold your breath for a vaccine IP ...


Despite Biden’s nod, don’t hold your breath for a vaccine IP waiver

Months of WTO talks lie ahead, with drug firms and governments fighting to keep waiver as narrow as possible

David Lawder

Now that US President Joe Biden has backed a proposed waiver for Covid-19 vaccine intellectual property rights, the next stop is for the World Trade Organization to hammer out a deal — a process that could take months.

Not only are the negotiations expected to be lengthy, they are also likely to result in a waiver that is significantly narrower in scope and shorter in duration than the one initially proposed by India and SA, trade experts said.

Before Biden’s announcement, the two countries confirmed their intention to draft a new proposal at a WTO General Council meeting on Wednesday, prompting the body’s new director-general, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to express hope for “a pragmatic solution”...

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