The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Karp-Sawey, Senior Media Advisor:

EU patent reform: EU has admitted intellectual property rules are a barrier to accessing medicines, campaigners say

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."

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 towards equitable access to medical technologies that help to prevent and respond to COVID-19 and future pandemics.