The global health crisis generated by Covid-19 has exposed the broken system of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) that regulates the production and distribution of treatments and drugs. Under the pretense of creating incentives for Research and Development (R&D), the patent system has created a set of monopolies, resulting in whopping profits for Big Pharma.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, The Left in the European Parliament has been active in denouncing the monopoly rights granted to pharmaceutical corporations that are impeding the timely and sufficient accessibility of life saving medicines and vaccines. The Left has systematically called upon European institutions and member states to support the proposal put forward by India and South Africa in the WTO for a waiver of the agreement on Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
This briefing aims to shed light on the current IPR architecture, the flexibilities contained in the TRIPS Agreement and its related structural issues, providing an overview on how the current legal landscape impacts public health objectives. The document also offers an outline of The Left’s demands and its work for #VaccineEquality.