Protecting IP vital to continue innovative research in fight against - BPCI

May 07, 2021

BioPharmaChem Ireland (BPCI), the Ibec group representing the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry, has voiced concern about the decision of the US Government to support a move towards lifting patent protection on Covid 19 vaccines. Intellectual property is critical to the research activities of the sector and subsequent commercialisation of products.  
Matt Moran, Director of BPCI said: “IP underpins the research that led to the discovery of the vaccines that are being used and allowed companies to form partnerships on the basis that IP was going to be respected.  Any move to weaken IP would be a concern to the industry as it could disrupt supply chains and lead to low-quality products being made. Waiving patents of Covid 19 vaccines will not increase production but will lead to disruption.
“If approved by the World Trade Organisation, the waiver would remove incentives for innovator companies to continue research for new variants.  BPCI would rather see a focus on issues of concern in the fight against Covid-19 such as trade barriers, supply chain problems and scarcity of raw materials and ingredients in the supply chain.”
The 2019 export figure for the sector in Ireland was €104bn or 62% of GDP.