Any Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Must Be Patent-Free, Made Available At No Cost, Current, Former Leaders Say In Open Letter; WHA Draft Resolution Includes Language On Voluntary Intellectual Property Pool, Compulsory Licenses For COVID-19 Medicines

Financial Times: ‘People’s vaccine’ for coronavirus must be free, leaders urge
“Any vaccine against Covid-19 should be patent-free, produced at scale, and made available at no cost to people everywhere, three African leaders and more than 140 public figures, including 50 former world leaders, have urged in an open letter. Calling a vaccine humanity’s best hope of ‘putting a stop to this painful global pandemic,’ Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African president who also chairs the African Union, called for a ‘people’s vaccine’ that would act as a global public good. Signatories of the letter, including Macky Sall, President of Senegal, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana, and Imran Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister, expressed fears that developing countries might not have quick or affordable access to a vaccine that is expected to be discovered and manufactured in the global north…” (Pilling/Jack, 5/13).

STAT: World Health Assembly draft resolution boosts access to Covid-19 medicines
“World Health Assembly negotiators have agreed on a draft resolution that ensures countries can navigate patent rights for Covid-19 medical products, a victory for those supporting wider access to drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines. Although the language could still change before a Monday deadline, the document mentions a voluntary pool, which would collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information that could be shared for developing medical products. The European Union last month asked the assembly, which is the governing body of the World Health Organization, to adopt the idea, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has already voiced support…” (Silverman, 5/13).

AP: Sanofi walks back after saying U.S. would get vaccine first (Corbet, 5/14).

AP: E.U.: Possible virus drug approval ‘before the summer’ (Cheng, 5/14).

Financial Times: Why vaccine ‘nationalism’ could slow coronavirus fight | Free to read (Milne/Crow, 5/14).

Reuters: Coronavirus vaccine possible in about a year, says EU agency (Sterling et al., 5/14).

Reuters: U.S. priority on Sanofi virus vaccine would be unacceptable, says France (Andre et al., 5/14).

Wall Street Journal: Old Vaccine Gets New Look in Tests for Coronavirus Protection (Bhattacharya et al., 5/13).