Piyush Goyal calls for quick consensus on patent waiver


NEW DELHI: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said there is a need for a quick consensus at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the proposal for patent waiver as well as transfer of technology and availability of raw materials for vaccines to deal with the Covid crisis.
In October 2020, India and South Africa had submitted a proposal suggesting a waiver for WTO members on the implementation of certain provisions of the TRIPS agreement in relation to the prevention, containment or treatment of Covid. TRIPS, which came into effect in 1995, is a multilateral agreement on intellectual property (IP) rights such as copyright, industrial designs, patents and protection of undisclosed information or trade secrets.
“To overcome this crisis much faster, we need not only the acceptance of the TRIPS waiver, we need expeditious consensus building, transfer of technology and availability of the raw materials to make this happen,” Goyal said at WEF’s Global Trade Outlook session.
He said that India wanted to cover medicines, vaccinations and associated infrastructure as part of its proposal to address the challenge. The US has given “limited” support for vaccines and that is the pressing need of today, he said, adding India has huge capabilities, technical capacities, and skilled manpower to help the world in ramping up vaccination rapidly.