Politics

Canada agrees to take part in WTO talks to waive patent protections on vaccines

WASHINGTON, D.C. —
Canada’s international trade minister says the federal government will take part in talks to waive the global rules that protect vaccine trade secrets.

Mary Ng made the announcement today in the House of Commons.

The move puts Canada squarely onside with the United States, which surprised and delighted progressive anti-poverty groups Wednesday when it agreed to the negotiations.

In theory, a waiver would make it easier for developing countries to import the expertise, equipment and ingredients necessary to make their own vaccines.

The pharmaceutical industry says a waiver won’t have the desired effect and would undermine the development of innovative drugs.

Other medical experts say a waiver would take too long, and the developed world should focus instead on ramping up existing production.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.


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