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Biden admin backs proposal to suspend intellectual property on pandemic vaccines, angering industry

May 5, 2021


Bucking the pharma industry on the closely watched issue of patent rights for COVID-19 vaccines, the Biden administration came out in favor of a proposal at the World Trade Organization to suspend intellectual property protections for pandemic shots.

In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the “extraordinary circumstances” of the pandemic call for “extraordinary measures.” The administration supports intellectual property protections generally, she said, but “in service of ending this pandemic,” it also supports “the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines.”

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