WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 17, 2022) – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl released the following statement on the announcement that a TRIPS waiver was agreed to for COVID-19 technologies:
“The top trade officials from 164 nations gathered in Geneva, Switzerland and failed the global population. Rather than focus on real issues affecting public health, like solving supply chain bottlenecks or reducing border tariffs on medicines, they approved an intellectual property waiver on COVID-19 vaccines that won’t help protect people against the virus.
“Vaccine manufacturers have produced more than 13 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses and built capacity to vaccinate everyone in the world. Biopharmaceutical researchers continue to find new ways to fight this pandemic – through variant-specific vaccines, new antiviral treatments, pediatric clinical trials and more. But unfortunately, last-mile distribution challenges are causing countries around the world to destroy unused vaccines and turn away donations. Rather than resolving these issues, diplomats spent the past year and a half arguing at the World Trade Organization over ways to undermine the very intellectual property rights that enabled hundreds of collaborations to produce the COVID-19 vaccines on a global scale.
“We are severely disappointed that the Biden administration helped lead this charge and gave away valuable American technologies to foreign competitors, undermining the millions of American jobs supported by our industry.
“I hope that policymakers around the world will develop a greater sense of purpose and, rather than continuing to indulge political stunts, solve the distribution and administration barriers preventing patients from accessing the vaccine surplus that America’s world-leading industry has produced.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $1.1 trillion in the search for new treatments and cures, including $102.3 billion in 2021 alone.