The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has given a mixed welcome to the report of the International Trade Committee on COVID-19 and international trade.
The report acknowledges that pharmaceutical supply chains have largely withstood the pandemic, despite problems merging due behaviour of individuals or countries in obtaining or withholding medicines from normal supply.
A recommendation was made for the Government and industry to work together to build stocks of key medicines in advance of any second wave of COVID-19 to avoid supply issues.
The Committee also suggested that intellectual property (IP) considerations should be available, such as the compulsory licensing of treatments for COVID-19 in order to increase their availability. ABPI Chief Executive Richard Torbett responded:
“We are extremely disappointed in the recommendation to consider compulsory licensing – the seizure of new research. This is unnecessary and would completely undermine the system for developing new medicines, including those for the coronavirus. It would send a hugely negative signal to scientists and would dent Britain’s ambition to become a science superpower.”