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Lobbyists to Block Generic Vaccines for Covid-19

The pharmaceutical industry is investing heavily in escalating the political fight over Generic Vaccines of Covid-19. Over 100 lobbyists have been organized to contact lawmakers and representatives of the Biden administration, according to newly filed disclosure forms from the first quarter of 2021, encouraging them to reject a proposed temporary waiver on intellectual property rights by the World Trade Organization that would enable Generic Vaccines to be manufactured globally.

Mike McKay, a key fundraiser for House Democrats who now works on retainer for Pfizer, as well as other former staff members of the US Office of Trade Representative, are among the pharmaceutical lobbyists working against the plan. According to recent disclosures, many trade organizations backed by pharmaceutical companies have been working hard to kill the generic plan.

Hundreds of lobbyists have been sent to fight the proposal by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, both of which collect funding from drug companies.

Following the campaign, several powerful voices supporting the drug lobby have emerged. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, sent a letter to the White House last week requesting that the administration “oppose any and all measures aimed at waiving intellectual property rights.” Former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean has also slammed the plan, echoing many of the drug industry’s claims.

Just 1% of coronavirus vaccinations are currently distributed to low-income nations, and estimates indicate that most of the world’s population will not be vaccinated until 2023 or 2024. In response, a group of countries led by India and South Africa has petitioned the World Trade Organization (WTO) to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights on coronavirus-related medical products to allow for the rapid production of Generic Vaccines.

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