From the Document: "The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has spurred biopharmaceutical companies to conduct costly and risky research and development (R&D) to develop vaccines and other products to respond to COVID-19. Firms have relied on intellectual property rights (IPR) to commercialize these products. Governments and nonprofits have funded and coordinated some of the underlying R&D. Some groups have voiced concerns over the impact of IPR on affordable access to these products for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). On May 5, 2021, the Biden Administration announced its support for the concept of a waiver of parts of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for COVID-19 vaccines, and pledged to 'actively participate in text-based negotiations at the [WTO] to make that happen.' Many consider this notable, given the United States' history of advancing IPR standards globally. Members of Congress are divided on the issue. An active debate is underway in the WTO on the role of IPR and trade policy in the pandemic response."
CRS In Focus, IF11858
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/