L’ambigua globalità. Il diritto come medium tra le asimmetriche geografie della salute e l’efficacia planetaria dei brevetti anti-CoViD

The development of a panoply of effective vaccines against Sars-Cov-2, formulated in record time and unprecedented in the history of pharmacopeia, has not furnished the desired barrier against the spread of the pandemic. In fact, the struggle to combat CoViD-19 is characterised by opposing sides. On one side there are states that support pharmaceutical companies, which are in turn adamant in their determination to protect the results of their research, operating within the legitimate private logic of patent monopoly. On the other side, there are (especially, but not only) developing countries that advocate the need to manage vaccines as resources accessible to all.  The states’ position is driven by a two-part logic. First, if vaccines are not provided to all members of the international (and human …. ) community, a reservoir of new potentially devastating variants could be nurtured. Second, public funding such as that made available by the European Union is aimed precisely at enabling the development of safe and effective vaccines, in an attempt to avoid a conflict between the socialisation of costs and the privatisation of profits. In this contribution, after elucidating the arguments of the various sides, we will try to outline a legal framework de jure condito of possible alternatives (such as, inter alia, compulsory licensing, parallel importing, patent waivers), which could, each with their own highlights and challenges, represent viable paths in the search for a balance between the different needs, especially in the context of the mechanisms provided under the aegis of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), pillar of the World Trade Organisation (Wto). The paper concludes with some suggestions de jure condendo, with particular regard for the World Health Organisation.

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