Top Global Medical Companies Seek G-20 Protection for Patents

Representatives for the world’s major pharmaceutical and medical companies are warning Group of 20 leaders that moves to weaken intellectual property rights protection will reduce investments and hurt innovation.

The warning comes in a report prepared for G-20 leaders by representatives of health and life-sciences companies including Novartis AG, Sanofi FP, AstraZeneca PLC and Johnson & Johnson, and from organizations such as the OECD and Europe’s EFPIA pharmaceutical industry association.

“No investment can be made or secured without proper intellectual property rights, that are fundamental and must be maintained to foster a life-sciences ecosystem that can deliver innovation and improve patient outcomes across the world,” reads a draft report seen by Bloomberg.

The U.S. gave its support for a waiver of intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines that will be discussed by the World Trade Organization, setting the stage for potentially thorny talks over sharing proprietary know-how needed to boost global supplies of the life-saving vaccines.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has also signaled readiness to discuss any proposal that “addresses the crisis in an effective and pragmatic manner.”

Business leaders say that the G-20 should share a “balanced international and local vision regarding an effective protection of intellectual property rights in health and life sciences,” according to the draft.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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