March 06, 2021Renounce vaccine patents to put the world on a "war footing" against coronavirus: this is the proposal of the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in an editorial published by the British newspaper The Guardian .

"We are going through an exceptional moment in history and we must rise to the difficulties: flexibility in trade rules exists for emergencies, and certainly a pandemic that has forced many companies to stop and caused so much damage to businesses, large and small. , respects this criterion ", writes the director of the WHO.

Tedros also recalls that even by renouncing the patent, pharmaceutical companies would receive at least partial reimbursement: "As in the HIV crisis or in a war, companies would be paid royalties for what they produce".

Pharmaceutical companies - but also not a few governments - are strongly opposed to the renunciation of patents, with and without compensation: a cut in financial returns would amount for them to a disincentive to innovation.