Saturday, December 31, 2022
The Proposed COVID-19 TRIPS Waiver: Not a Silver Bullet but Part of a Solution for Africa’s COVID-19 Health
Franziska Sucker (University of the Witwatersrand), Kholofelo Kugler (Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), The Proposed COVID-19 TRIPS Waiver: Not a Silver Bullet but Part of a Solution for Africa’s COVID-19 Health, MJIEL (2022):
From the outset, the proposed COVID-19 TRIPS waiver has captured the public attention, with various civil society organisations urging WTO Members to adopt it and criticising those who opposed it. We explore whether and to what extent the proposed waiver can contribute to addressing the critical COVID-19 medical products access limitations and assist African countries to abate their health crises. It becomes apparent that, even if adopted, the proposed waiver can only be part of the solution. It would remove the legal barriers that prevent African countries that protect IPRs from producing generic COVID-19 medical products or engaging in their parallel importation. However, the development or scaling up of manufacturing COVID-19 medical products requires finding new ways for knowledge sharing and cooperation. As such, the current crisis highlights the need to ensure that the monopoly power of IPRs do not exacerbate global public health emergencies.