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Parliamentary questions
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20 November 2020
Priority question for written answer  P-006357/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Mohammed Chahim (S&D)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Pfizer patent for COVID-19 vaccine

A COVID-19 vaccine is of vital importance to the world population. The Commission has concluded an agreement with the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector to purchase up to 300 million doses. Pfizer has indicated that it has no intention of renouncing the patent protection giving it the exclusive right to produce the vaccine. However, it is only able to produce a limited amount, while millions are being infected with COVID-19. Rolling out a vaccine quickly and on a large scale is therefore literally a matter of life and death.

1. Have the Commission and Council (of ministers responsible), in negotiating the purchase of the vaccine, also put on the table (or at least considered) the compulsory licence option?

2. Otherwise, is the Commission still willing to discuss with the ministers concerned and pharmaceutical sector the possibility of reaching an agreement on patent sharing and knowledge transfer with regard to COVID-19 vaccines?

3. If not, is it prepared to consider options such as compulsory licensing for the purpose of negotiating future agreements with pharmaceutical companies?

Original language of question: NL
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