US support to TRIPS Waiver of Covid-19 vaccines is welcome, but far from sufficient

The United States government recently declared that it will support TRIPS Waiver for vaccines at the World Trade Organisation. In October 2020, India and South Africa made a proposal before the WTO for waiving off all kinds of intellectual property such as patents, trade secrets and copyright, from all Covid-19 related medical tools. More than 100 developing countries joined the effort. But the rich countries have been opposing it, letting big pharmaceutical companies profit from the misery pandemic is creating. Finally, after 8 months the US has agreed for text-based negotiations.

People’s Health Movement spoke to K. M. Gopakumar of the Third World Network about implications of the US’ position, its gross limitations and the struggles that activists need to undertake going ahead.