BMJ Commentary: Overriding drug and medical technology patents for pandemic recovery: a legitimate move for high-income countries, too

Interest in the use of compulsory licensing is making a comeback in high-income countries in response to concerns about access to Covid-19 vaccines and therapies. Compulsory licensing of patents can, under certain circumstances, be a useful strategy for public health, but high-income countries may face challenges making effective use of the measure. Many HICs have, for example, opted-out of using the a WTO provision allowing compulsory licences for export as an importer.  And high-income countries have data exclusivity rules, such as those in Europe, can block registration of generic or biosimilar versions of medicines produced or imported under a compulsory licence.

A new commentary in the British Medical Journal Global Health by Medicines Law & Policy’s Katrina Perehudoff, Ellen ‘t Hoen and Pascale Boulet has been published describing these challenges and options to overcome them. It is available here:

Medicines Law & Policy
Medicines Law & Policy
Medicines Law & Policy brings together legal and policy experts in the field of access to medicines, international law, and public health. We provide policy and legal analysis, best practice models and other information that can be used by governments, non-governmental organisations, product development initiatives, funding agencies, UN agencies and others working to ensure the availability of effective, safe and affordable medicines for all.


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