On Friday, the EU Commission released for the first time, a drug for the treatment of Covid-19: Remdesivir. From "an important step in the fight against the Virus," said health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. To give this approval "less than a month after the complaint was filed" and thus the determination of the EU to "respond quickly, as soon as new treatments become available". However, the Commissioner from Cyprus failed to mention an important Detail: In the foreseeable future the drug for Europeans will not be available. The American government has secured at the end of June to 500,000 treatment units of the contract. This is equivalent to the entire production of the sole producer of Gilead, to July, and ninety percent of its capacity in August and September.
Political correspondent for the European Union, Nato and the Benelux countries, based in Brussels.F. A. Z.
The experts in Brussels did not remain hidden. You can see with suspicion, as the government of Donald Trump includes exclusive contracts. The CDU health policy-makers in the European Parliament, Peter Liese, launched on Friday a clear threat. "I think it is necessary that Gilead shares his Knowledge with other companies and also as a competitor in the market, so the supply for the greatest possible number of patients around the world," said Liese. You put on cooperation and dialogue. If this fails, there is also a Plan B: "Yes, It is possible that the member States of the European Union, together compulsory licenses, which also means to allow, against the wishes of Gilead, the manufacture of the drug in the EU by other companies, and we also take trade policy measures into consideration."
How to listen in Brussels, preparing for France and Germany for quite some time on a scenario with compulsory licenses. The legal basis for this can be found in the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights of 1995, short Trips. It is noted that the patent law is its limit, in the case of necessary protection of "public order", including the "protection of the health of the people" is one. The agreement grants the States the right "to take the necessary measures to protect public health and nutrition". Article 31 regulates the terms for a possible compulsory license. Thus, the granting of a permit to a producer in their own country is meant, without the permission of the patent holder.
Trade action against Washington?
Liese wants the Commission to coordinate such a step and the member States to adopt together; only they are Contracting parties. The point is also to be found in a position paper on the health policy, the his group, the Christian-adopted democratic European people's party, on Wednesday, unanimously. There it is, with reference to a vaccine against Covid-19: "If a vaccine outside of Europe will be developed and others will not want to share him with us, we have a Plan B", namely, "compulsory licences". Liese reported that he was often in contact with representatives of the company in Gilead, the other drugs manufacturers, and thus on the European market pressing. "The question of how the European institutions see this company depends on the very fact that we are treated fairly," says the health politician, who is himself a doctor.Updated Date: 07 July 2020, 21:20