It’s unimaginable that more than two years into the pandemic with more than 15 million people killed, World Trade Organization (WTO) countries are still stuck debating whether WTO intellectual property barriers should be waived for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests.
Actually, that’s not quite correct: The needed waiver has been scotched thanks to a few wealthy countries doing Big Pharma’s bidding.
Instead, the WTO staff is pushing for a deal on a rump text that experts at Doctors Without Borders and other groups conclude is unlikely to result in more vaccines being made or administered. It does not even apply to treatments and tests. Worse, it could undermine countries’ existing WTO flexibilities to make generic versions of medicines.
This is not what most countries want. More than 100 support a temporary waiver of the WTO’s monopoly rights for pharmaceutical corporations so that more of the most effective mRNA vaccines and life-saving treatments, like Paxlovid, can be produced in as many locations as possible.
President Joe Biden supported a WTO waiver of IP barriers for COVID vaccines. South Africa and India’s text that waives WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property (TRIPS) provisions has 65 country cosponsors.
Yet with our health and the world economy at risk from dangerously low vaccination rates and limited access to treatments in most developing nations, three WTO members—the European Union (EU), Switzerland and the U.K.—have blocked the rest of the world.
At the start of 2022, the WTO’s director general sought a way forward through talks among the EU, South Africa, India and the U.S. But that process failed as the EU defended the pharmaceutical industry position and refused to waive intellectual property monopolies while the U.S. insisted that any deal cover only vaccines not easier-to-produce treatments. The U.S. demand seems particularly ironic, cruel and out of step with the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, now that U.S. COVID strategy has changed to prioritize testing and treatment.
That text was so bad only the EU supported it. It was resoundingly rejected worldwide. WTO rules have limited countries’ freedom to operate generic COVID-19 medicine production, thus the need for a waiver, not additional constraints.
But now, remarkably, even though South Africa, India and the U.S. did not support the EU’s no-waiver approach and most WTO countries support a waiver, the rump text has replaced the waiver as the focus of WTO negotiations.
Partners In Health, Oxfam and other groups urged Biden to reject this approach that wouldn’t deliver even on his limited vaccine waiver pledge.
Waiving IP barriers is as relevant as ever. What is described as a “glut” in developing nations is widely understood there as pharmaceutical corporations and wealthy countries dumping old and less effective vaccines that their citizens don’t want. If second generation versions of the most effect mRNA shots targeted to stop infection by recent variants like Omicron are only available in a few wealthy nations and mass outbreaks continue in the developing world, we will lose the next race between vaccines and variants.
What is needed is simple—a straightforward waiver, eliminating legal uncertainties, not raising new issues, so that any firm producing any of these badly needed vaccines, treatments and tests does not have to worry about being sued.
The principle of access to intellectual property in the face of an epidemic has long been accepted. It’s just that the drug companies are engaged (successfully) in foot dragging to maximize profits before more supplies eventually become available.
It’s horribly reminiscent of what happened in the 1990s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Millions of people in Africa suffered and died from AIDs while a few powerful developed countries blocked a WTO waiver for life-saving antiretrovirals.
Instead of focusing on saving lives, today in the lead up to the WTO’s major decision-making June 12 ministerial conference meeting, trade negotiators are being put under enormous pressure to ink an agreement, any agreement, to show that the WTO is still relevant.
No agreement is better than a bad agreement. Negotiators still have time to fix the situation. If the EU, U.K., Switzerland and the U.S. won’t agree, at a minimum they must commit to not attacking countries that act to save their citizens as developing countries and emerging markets must take the protection of their citizens in their own hands, doing whatever they can.
We should also recognize the anger felt in the developing countries over what has happened. It is part of the reason that many countries are not lending support to European and American defense of Ukraine against Russia’s outrageous attack. We seem to care about the lives of Ukrainians, but not those dying unnecessarily of COVID-19.
There is no need for more people to die, for more mutations—some more deadly and contagious—to arise or for more to fall into poverty as more livelihoods are destroyed. The upcoming WTO ministerial summit could save lives and livelihoods, rehabilitate the international rules-based system and make an important step for international solidarity by enacting a clean waiver for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests.
What is at stake is not just this pandemic, but the next. Will the WTO and intellectual property monopolies over medicines again impede the global response, again causing unnecessary deaths, again exacerbating an economic downturn?
The ball is the hands of a few countries—the EU plus the U.K., Switzerland and the U.S.—who ironically hold themselves out as stalwarts of human rights. But what human right is more important that the right to live?
Joseph E. Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia University, a Nobel Prize laureate in economics and chief economist at the Roosevelt Institute.
Lori Wallach is the director of Rethink Trade at the American Economic Liberties Project.
The views expressed in this article are the writers’ own.
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Thank you for reading our article on fastener manufacturers and fastener suppliers. In today’s economy, it is more important than ever to have a quality selection of fasteners available to meet your needs. We hope that our information has helped you find the right supplier for your next project and that you will continue to use us as your go-to source for all things fastener related. Thank you again for reading! Read Morehttps://yijinsolution.com/top-10-bolts-and-nuts-manufacturers-in-china/
Top Website To Buy Spotify Followers In the UK
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10 Digital Marketing Considerations to Make in 2023
Entering 2023, digital marketing will be even more successful. Not a single successful business does not use digital marketing. What things will be trending in 2023? The following are digital marketing trends that will continue to reverberate in 2023.
- Using influencers for the long term
One of the best marketing strategies that has proven itself historically over time is word of mouth advertising. If an influencer recommends a product, followers are happy to follow. Influencer marketing, which involves collaboration between brands and individuals with a niche and a large online following, takes that concept and modernizes it for today’s new digital era. 93% of marketing professionals use influencer marketing for reasons such as:
- Increase brand awareness
- Build trust and authority
- Reach their target audience
- Drive conversions
- Generate leads
- Setting new trends
- Connecting to a wider market
While this form of social media marketing is nothing new, in 2023, companies can take the opportunity to build more authentic connections with their target audience by appointing long-term “brand ambassadors”. This mutually beneficial relationship allows brands to build lasting relationships with their influencer partners, while influencers can maintain trust with their audience by promoting the same brand over time.
- Live streaming and video based content
Video-based content is becoming a major area of focus in social media marketing because it can hold viewers’ attention for a longer time compared to static posts. From TikToks to Instagram reels, marketers are using small, short videos to drive engagement and increase brand awareness among millennials and Gen Z, the main segment of social media users.
Live streaming has also proven to be an effective marketing trend. According to a report, consumers spent an estimated 548 billion hours streaming via mobile devices in 2021. When paired with influencer marketing, live streaming allows prospects to engage with influencers who are familiar with products, talk about products, and make purchases while they watch. The purchase stream can continue as long as the live stream is in progress.
- User generated content
From trending TikToks to #OOTD (Outfit of The Day) posts, user-generated content is the new word of mouth. This type of content is consumer-made and specifically addresses a brand used by consumers. Unboxing videos, makeup reviews, branded hashtags and photo tags are all examples of how brands can leverage user-generated content.
Since anyone can create user-generated content, adding this tactic to your marketing strategy can increase your brand authenticity. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to trust user-generated content than brand-generated content—proving that now is the time to prioritize authenticity in your marketing strategy.
- New targeting solution
Google will phase out third-party cookies at the end of next year due to growing privacy concerns. Cookies play a role in target marketing by tracking user behavior across the web so marketers can provide a customized experience. To stay relevant, alternative targeting solutions are being continuously tested to continue to develop highly personalized content and ads.
- Agile Marketing
As the name suggests, agile marketing is an approach inspired by the agile methodology. It’s a way of working that involves rapid iteration rather than one big project. Agile marketing emphasizes real-time collaboration and is designed so marketers can respond to change more easily.
The benefits of agile marketing include:
- Flexibility to adapt to changes due to iterative planning
- Ability to deliver value early and often by grouping individuals into small cross-functional teams that can complete projects independently
- Focus more on customer value and business results than on activities and outputs
- Create cohesive/sticky customer experiences
Customers expect a personalized and customized experience that speaks directly to their needs. At the same time, marketers must avoid looking through the lens of the marketer alone because customers do not interact with brands through one method or channel.
Marketers must understand the specific interactions in the entire customer journey and focus on the complete experience, not a specific time period campaign.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of how customers act, think, and feel through the buying process and can be a valuable tool for creating a cohesive experience.
- Voice search tactics for SEO
Marketers are starting to utilize voice search like Google talk for example as a search engine optimization (SEO) tool. This digital assistant is designed to answer brief informational questions such as “Who is Erina Gudono?” and “How is the weather in Jakarta?” but don’t forget, voice search also starts processing more customized searches, like “What coffee shops are open near me?” and “Do they serve coffee lattes?”
- Conversational marketing
Conversational marketing uses targeted messaging and Artificial Intelligence automation to engage with people while they are on your website.
This digital marketing trend uses intelligent chatbots with machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), which allow customers to have two-way conversations with select product brands. The shift from asynchronous marketing to real-time conversation presents a major learning curve as conversational marketing grows in 2023.
- Interactive content
If you’ve been using the internet in the last decade, you most likely came across interactive content without knowing it. Gone are the days of static posting and passive consumption—today’s audience wants content that demands attention. Marketers are developing dynamic two-way experiences that encourage active engagement from their target audience, especially millennials with content such as:
- Interactive infographics
- Interactive map
- Interactive videos
81% of marketers agree that a content strategy like this is high-impact, low-cost, much more effective at capturing a prospect’s attention than static content, but the benefits don’t stop there. Interactive content is a great trend include:
- Improved audience engagement
- Improved customer learning
- More leads and conversions
- Increase brand loyalty
- Streamlining the customer experience
- Artificial Intelligence for better trend finding
Artificial intelligence is poised to make a big impact in many industries in the next few years. This data can help marketers optimize spend, customize and target content, and personalize their customer experience.
Marketers are already reaping the benefits of AI technology, such as:
- Smarter and more targeted ads
- Trendspotting and accurate predictions
- Better understanding of buyer behavior
- Increase customer retention and loyalty
- Enhanced self-service capabilities
- Higher ROI through effective targeting
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