The COVID-19 Pandemic: R&D and Intellectual Property Management for Access to Diagnostics, Medicines and Vaccines
8 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020
Date Written: April 10, 2020
The ongoing rapid spread of COVID-19 is challenging the capacity of governments and of the World Health Organization (WHO) to timely put in place a global coordinated response to the pandemic. Developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in particular in Africa are especially vulnerable to the unfolding effects of the public health crisis. A priority area for global collaboration is to advance research and development (R&D) for vaccines and medicines that are made available, affordable and accessible worldwide.
There is currently no vaccine and no proven safe and effective direct therapy for COVID-19. There is also the need to accelerate testing capacity and tools in developing countries and LDCs with increased access to low-cost diagnostics. The approach to the management of intellectual property rights by research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotech companies and R&D funders will decisively affect availability and access, as well as the transfer of technology and know-how. Governments must ensure that they have legislative and procedural frameworks in place to enable them to over-come any patent, data exclusivity and trade secret barriers to procure and produce COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines, medicines and other therapeutics.
Keywords: Access to Medicines, Affordable Medicines, Africa, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Data Exclusivity, Diagnostics, Global Health, Health, Innovation, Intellectual Property, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Pandemic, Patent, Pharmaceuticals, Public Health, Research and Development (R&D), Technology Transfer,
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