EU IP Hypocrisy


Release date: 27 April 2023

Responding to the EU’s proposed reform of patent law, Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Policy Co-Lead for the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said:

“This proposal clearly shows that the EU now recognises that intellectual property rules are a barrier to accessing medicines. Compulsory licensing is a right that all governments have but, until now, the EU has shown little interest in using it.

“It is one thing for the EU to issue a compulsory license. But it is another thing entirely for a developing country to do so without fear of reprisals. When the countries who are the biggest victims of health inequalities try to issue compulsory licenses, they often face severe political and economic pressure from the EU itself.

“It’s time for the EU to end its hypocrisy. Governments must agree to build a mechanism in a Pandemic Accord at the WHO that commits governments to suspend intellectual property rules in a health crisis, so that every country can practice their right to protect their population.”

/ Ends

Notes to editors:
This is a reaction to an announcement from the European Commission today:

The People’s Vaccine Alliance reaction to yesterday’s pharmaceutical reform announcement from the EU is available here:

The EU has applied pressure on developing countries that try to issue compulsory licenses, including Thailand:

Germany amended its own laws early in the pandemic to fast-track the issuing of compulsory licenses to override patents on health products, should there be a need:

The EU worked to undermine a proposal from low and middle-income countries to waive intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments:

The EU is undermining measures to ensure timely medical access for low and middle-income countries in the Pandemic Accord:

The EU’s proposed Free Trade Agreement with India could undermine access to medicines:

The People’s Vaccine Alliance is a coalition of over 100 organisations and networks, supported by Nobel Laureates, health experts, economists, Heads of States, faith leaders and activists, working together for vaccines, tests, and treatments to be available free of charge to everyone, everywhere – for a People’s Vaccine:

Media contact:
Joe Karp-Sawey, Senior Media Advisor, People’s Vaccine Alliance
WhatsApp: +44 7428 985985
Email: [email protected]