Dr Luke McDonagh on pharma companies and TRIPS vaccine waiver

10 November 2022

Luke McDonagh

Dr Luke McDonagh was quoted by Politico in a story investigating the lobbying activities undertaken by Pharma companies during 2021-22 against the India-South Africa proposal to waive aspects of the WTO TRIPS Agreement to allow freedom to operate for vaccine manufacturers in developing countries. Pharma companies, such as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, sought to pressure governments to block the waiver proposal at the WTO, and were able to obtain direct access to UK and EU politicians. Eventually, in June 2022, the WTO agreed the terms of a compromise decision, making minor amendments to global intellectual property rules to help alleviate vaccine inequity.

An excerpt from the Politico article:

‘“Clearly, there is a problem within the system,” said Luke McDonagh, Assistant Professor of Law at the London School of Economics. “The TRIPS Agreement is really serving the interests of the high-income countries, and it’s doing virtually nothing for the lower middle-income countries,” he said, adding that he was hopeful the WTO recognizes the need to redress that balance.’

Read the article in full here.