Troubled exchange

Published: Tuesday 30 June 2009

Rich nations want to own vaccines

developed and developing countries failed to reach an agreement on the exchange of virus samples and vaccines of pandemic flu at a recent World Health Organization (who) meeting .

The agreement was debated at the Intergovernmental Meeting on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness in Geneva on May 15. It was to guarantee supply of influenza vaccines to developing countries at economical rates. Developed countries, led by the US, made an attempt to modify the draft agreement to reduce benefits given to developing countries, but were barred from doing so. They wanted cheap access to virus samples from developing countries, but wanted to sell the vaccines at higher rates, while owning intellectual property rights for them.

who Director General Margaret Chan will finalize draft details that will be presented at the executive board meeting to be held in January 2010.

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