Health

Brazilian senate votes to suspend patents in a bid to boost vaccine access


After a year of politicking, the Brazilian senate passed a bill that would permit the government to temporarily suspend any and all patents for medical products that could be used to fight Covid-19, as well as any future public health emergency declared by Brazilian authorities or the World Health Organization. Any license would be valid only for the duration of such an emergency.

The legislation now goes to the lower house of Congress, although it remains unclear if it will have the same level of support. At the time the bill was introduced a year ago, the government of President Bolsonaro publicly opposed proposals to suspend patent protections, arguing such a move could endanger talks with vaccine makers. We asked his office for comment and will pass along any reply.

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