FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Fred Roeder, Managing Director, Consumer Choice Center
Scrapping COVID Patents: PM Johnson needs to resist populist calls
London, UK – In a report published today by the House of Commons International Trade Committee, Members of Parliament suggest to allow for compulsory licensing of drugs for COVID-19. Under compulsory licensing laws, a government has the power to revoke patent rights from innovators or companies if a discovery they made provides vital treatment or protection related to a national health emergency. Fred Roeder, Health Economist and Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center warns that such erosion of intellectual property would lead to the opposite and eventually harm patients:
“Compulsory licensing is threatening to move the goalposts on how intellectual property rights are protected. If domestic and foreign companies are prevented from retaining their patent licenses, this could hinder the production and supply of essential goods to the population further than they already are. A compulsory licensing bill could place even more barriers for pharmaceutical innovators, which could further discourage these kinds of companies from investing or listing their drugs in the UK.
There are many ways to make easier access to vaccines and drugs for example a mutual recognition of FDA and EMA approvals and fast-tracking some type of medicines. In order to be prepared for the next pandemic, we need to increase and not curb incentives for innovation. Right now we need to do everything that makes pharmaceutical research more agile – Introducing compulsory licensing on COVID drugs and vaccines is not the right way. While might help in the short term but jeopardizes our ability to tackle health crises early on in the long run,” concludes Roeder.
***CCC’ Fred Roeder is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and healthcare issues. Please send media inquiries HERE.***
The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org