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U.S. Weighs Global Vaccine-Expansion Move Opposed by Drugmakers

April 22, 2021, 5:09 PM

The Biden administration is weighing an appeal from progressive Democrats to accelerate global access to Covid-19 vaccines by supporting a waiver of intellectual-property protections, a move opposed by big drugmakers.

Lawmakers led by senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren last week called on President Joe Biden to back a proposal before the World Trade Organization that seeks a broad waiver from obligations on the protection of intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights and trade secrets.

The aim is to ease rules regarding the production and export of vaccines and other critical medical goods needed to combat the Covid-19 virus.

The...

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