Expert: Eliminating IP Protections for COVID-19 Vaccines Would Not Fix the Immediate Need for More Vaccinations Globally

Gary Locke, former governor of Washington state, US Secretary of Commerce, and ambassador to China, discusses the World Trade Organization's TRIPS Council, which recently met to assess the elimination of IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and medical devices.

Pharmacy Times interviewed Gary Locke, former executive of King County, governor of Washington state, US Secretary of Commerce, and ambassador to China under the Obama administration, to discuss the World Trade Organization's TRIPS Council. The council convened on October 13 and 14 to assess a proposed waiver to the TRIPS Agreement that would eliminate IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and medical devices—potentially permanently.

During the discussion, Locke addressed why the misconception persists regarding the value of eliminating IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines in order to increase global vaccinations, investments that countries such as the United States could make that would be beneficial in the fight against the pandemic abroad, what some of the lasting ramifications of the elimination of IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines may be for US research and development, and what his hopes are for the future in relation to the world’s approach to fighting the spread of the coronavirus.