Washington: Ponderous bureaucracies will take months to implement sketchy western commitments voiced by the US and European Union on patent waivers — pledges that could potentially help crank out some two billion Covid-19 vaccines that India needs ASAP to arrest the coronavirus pandemic.
Early warning that putting the western pledge into practice could be difficult came from US trade representative Katherine Tai, who said Washington would engage in text-based negotiations with the World Trade Organization on the issue but the outcome “will take time given the consensus-based nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues.”
The powerful pharma industry too was lukewarm about letting go of its intellectual property stranglehold, warning that even if they share the secret sauce that go into making the vaccines, companies in developing nations such as India, already facing raw material shortages, lacked manufacturing capacity and tools to rapidly ramp up production.
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