COVID-19, Patents and Right to Health

Document Type : Original Article

Author

National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, India

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented scene and situation across the globe in terms of the health of people at large. Hitherto unknown, unheard and unprecedented health emergency it has created which was never foreseen and anticipated by any wild stretch of the imagination by anyone. It has called for Resolution of the World Health Assembly[1], which recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has an impact on the poor and the most vulnerable, with repercussions on health and development gains, in particular in low-income countries. It further calls on cooperation between multilateral organizations and other stakeholders and the World Health Organization (WHO) to identify and provide options that respect the provisions of relevant international treaties, like the TRIPS Agreement and the flexibilities within TRIPS Agreement for ensuring Public Health. It is indeed required that, as proposed in the Doha declaration, flexibilities within the TRIPS agreement be used in protecting public health at large in the COVID pandemic times. Such flexibilities could include scaling up the development, manufacturing and distribution of medicines, including the vaccines, injunctions, capsules and tablets used in treating the COVID at present. It is also required that capacities be built for transparent, equitable and timely access to quality, safe, affordable and efficacious diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines, and vaccines for the treatment of COVID. It can be ensured only by using the flexibilities under international agreements like TRIPS while promoting the innovation in pharma for finding better solutions for COVID.   
[1] World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution 73.1 of 19 May 2020,

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Volume 3, Issue 5
April 2022
Pages 31-38
  • Receive Date: 12 November 2021
  • Revise Date: 24 February 2022
  • Accept Date: 24 February 2022
  • First Publish Date: 24 February 2022