On the 8th of May, Kyodo news reported on the opposition by the Japanese pharmaceutical industry to the US support for temporarily waving patent rights related to corona virus patents.
The Japan pharmaceutical industry claims this would increase shortages for vital vaccine components worldwide, and affect views on vaccine quality.
As the United States spoke out in favour for temporarily waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents, it was supported by the World Health Organisation that encouraged other countries to follow the example.
While the Japanese government had not yet made its stance clear on the issue. The Japanese pharmaceutical sector is against the waiver. It claims that the even if a waiver were to be granted, this does not guarantee that vaccines of equivalent quality to current ones would be produced. It is worried that some non-effective products could circulate, while the risk of side effects from vaccines would rise too.
In a statement, the association said that “we are deeply concerned that if vaccines are made in an uncontrollable environment, it will intensify scarcity of raw materials as well as further disperse and disrupt supply chains, possibly leading to a further delay in distribution”.
Meanwhile in Europe, France’s president Emmanuel Macron expressed strong support for the patent waiver. Germany for its part opposes the idea.
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