Russia has always spoken in favor of suspending intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 24th November, 2021) Russia has always spoken in favor of suspending intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
“President Putin has actively advocated for abandoning patent protection for vaccines on a reciprocal basis until this evil (virus) is finally defeated, or at least until we get the situation under control. No one has even responded,” Lavrov said at a business forum by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
The minister noted that it might be difficult for companies to give up patent protection given high profits and the implicit desire of any business to maximize them. For example, “a company that makes one of the most popular vaccines in the West reportedly already made $30 billion,” Lavrov added.
Despite this, Moscow will continue to actively support the initiative, the minister said.
The Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights waiver was first proposed by India and South Africa on October 2, 2020, with the states arguing it would help increase vaccine production, particularly in lower-income countries. The initiative was later supported by the World Health Organization.
However, several European leaders and pharmaceutical companies have opposed the idea of a patent waiver, urging their counterparts to look for more effective ways to combat the pandemic and boost vaccine distribution.