Newsletter Edition 24 - April 2021


Technology transfer instead of patents breaking

In recent weeks, the debate over treatments, vaccines, and solutions to the pandemic crisis has gained strong voices against compulsory licensing in terms of what has popularly been called “patent breaking”. On April 9th, at a virtual meeting of the Covid-19 Commission in the Federal Senate, Nísia Trindade Lima, the president of Fiocruz, and Mario Moreira, the vice president of Management and Institutional Development, defended the technology transfer agreements for vaccine manufacturing. “The production of APIs involves high complexity and depends on technology transfer agreements, which Brazil must seek, expanding the production of Fiocruz and Butantan”, she said.

For Dimas Tadeu Covas, the director of the Butantan Institute, at this time, the “patent breaking” would not be a solution to the pandemic. “Even if patents were broken, at this time, there would be no way to incorporate the production of more complex vaccines, as there is no foundation in Brazil today for incorporating these technologies”.

João Lucas Quental, director of the Department of Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained that Brazil is negotiating at the UN level an international regulatory framework for equitable access to vaccines produced worldwide. “Breaking a patent at this point will generate distrust and disorder in the market and could delay this supply”, he warned.