STAT+: Proposal to waive intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines and drugs appears unlikely to pass

A controversial proposal for the World Trade Organization to temporarily waive intellectual property rights and provide greater access to Covid-19 medical products appears unlikely to pass, according to people tracking the latest round of meetings at the global agency.

Despite a year-long debate, disagreement remains on the fundamental question of whether a waiver is appropriate and the most effective way to tackle inequitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, according to a trade official who is based in Geneva, Switzerland, where talks are being held. The WTO needs consensus from all of its 164 members for the proposal to be adopted.

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