BIA position on WHO pandemic accord

The UK Government is currently involved in the negotiation of an international treaty on pandemic preparedness and response at the World Health Organization (WHO). The BIA has submitted a position statement to Government.

In our position statement, we highlight the following key concerns:

  • The draft WHO pandemic preparedness accord contains a damaging and false narrative of the role of IP in pandemic preparedness, prevention and response. IP is vital in the research, development and production of medicines, vaccines and technologies to the benefit of public health. BIA urge the UK Government to take an evidence-based approach to discussing IP-related matters and not to weaken innovators’ IP rights through this treaty, as IP rights give collaborating parties the ability and confidence to share information openly and rapidly.
  • Any development of measures that promote and incentivise relevant transfer of technology and know-how for production of pandemic-related products, while encouraged, should be based on a voluntary nature and enabled by strong IP rights that provide confidence for rights owners.
  • Implementing a Pathogen Access and Benefit Sharing (PABS) system for pathogens with pandemic potential runs the risk of delaying the rapid sharing of pathogens and development of countermeasures, running counter to its very intention.

We urge the Government to take into consideration the significance of IP in the life sciences as it engages in the negotiations. We ask that the Government carefully considers the role of strong IP rights in enabling technology transfer and the sharing of know-how, and be aware of the pitfalls of access and benefit sharing (ABS) mechanisms for genetic resources and their impact on innovation, a topic BIA has engaged on in relation to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD)’s Nagoya Protocol on ABS of genetic resources, for many years.



More within