According to a paper published in The Lancet says SA and India have “called for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to suspend intellectual rights related to Covid-19 to ensure that not only the wealthiest countries will be able to access and afford vaccines, medicines and other new technologies needed to control the pandemic”. But many high-income countries and the pharmaceutical industry “are staunchly opposed to the move”, saying it will “stifle innovation when it is needed most”, according to the paper.

Researcher-writer Ann Danaiya Usher said the proposal states that intellectual property rights such as patents are obstructing affordable Covid-19 medical products and that a temporary ban “would allow multiple actors to start production sooner, instead of having manufacturing in the hands of a small number of patent holders”. - Sunday Times Live (8 December 2020)

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