FORBES – Shares in major manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines plummeted Thursday.
The stocks declined as the European Union, one of the world’s largest producers of vaccines and home to a number of pharmaceutical heavyweights, signaled its willingness to discuss U.S. plans to waive various intellectual property protections on the shots in order to boost global vaccine supplies.
The EU is “ready to discuss any proposal that addresses the crisis in an effective and pragmatic manner,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday.
Von der Leyen said this willingness included U.S. proposals for a “waiver on IP protection for Covid vaccines,” something the bloc has previously rejected.
Pressure is now growing on other wealthy nations to support the endeavor after the U.S. backed proposals to waive vaccine patents, with New Zealand signaling its support shortly after.
Shares in major vaccine makers have fallen since the U.S. announcement, with Pfizer and Moderna respectively down 3.45% and 3.19% in premarket trading at the time of writing.
BioNTech and CureVac, two German manufacturers, are down 16.9% and 15.49% respectively.
The U.S. and the EU are among the world’s staunchest defenders of intellectual property rights and the decision to consider waiving protections is a major policy change.
An intellectual property waiver would allow other companies around the world to access the information needed to make their own vaccines and allow them to do so legally.
Theoretically, this will boost overall production and help poorer countries access much needed supplies ahead of what could otherwise be a years-long wait … Click here to read more.